Middlesex crushed but remain on course for second place

Simpson bat2

Middlesex 98 & 205: Simpson 50 not out; Shantry 3-51
Worcestershire 431-5 dec: Fell 171; Dexter 3-51, Roland-Jones 1-78
Worcestershire won by an innings and 128 runs

Middlesex suffered a crushing innings and 128-run defeat against already-relegated Worcestershire but still remain favourites to finish in second place.

Nottinghamshire, the only team who could overtake Middlesex need to beat Hampshire, but are struggling after the third day at Trent Bridge, with the visitors needing just 111 more runs to win with 10 wickets remaining.

Middlesex could have made certain of second spot and securing an extra £81,000 for finishing as runners-up to champions Yorkshire.

But a miserable opening two days at New Road meant defeat was almost inevitable.

Worcestershire, resuming on 329-3, led by 231 runs and went on to post 431 for the loss of just five wickets before declaring.

Tom Fell made a total of 171 and Tom Kohler-Cadmore made 130, with only Neil Dexter [3-51], making a significant impact with the ball.

When Middlesex batted again, they offered little resistance for the second time in the match.

They reached 44-0 with relative ease but then lost three wickets in eight balls and then collapsed to 133-9.

Only a gung-ho last-wicket stand of 72 by John Simpson Tim Murtagh prolonged the day’s play, but when Murtagh was run out by Fell with Middlesex on 205, the game was lost.

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