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August 31, 2012
Middlesex 306 (Dexter 90, Robson 72, Richardson 4-62) and 205 for 5 (Denly 48) beat Worcestershire 323 (Mitchell 133*, Kervezee 55, Roland-Jones 5-72) and 186 (Kervezee 64*, Roland-Jones 5-46) by five wickets
Paceman Toby Roland-Jones bagged the first 10-wicket haul of his career as Middlesex clinched a tense five-wicket win at New Road which leaves Worcestershire's Division One status hanging by a thread.
Roland Jones, 24, is the second highest wicket-taker in the Championship and finished with match figures of 10 for 118 to leave his side with the task of scoring 204 in 47 overs for victory. They timed their chase to perfection and reached their target with 11 balls to spare.
It was Middlesex's fourth Championship win of the season which enabled them to complete the double over Worcestershire, who they trounced by 132 runs at Lord's in early May.
The lively Roland-Jones followed up his first innings return of 5 for 72 with 5 for 46 in a performance reminiscent of his achievement in Middlesex's 2010 Championship match against Worcestershire, when he collected a nine-wicket match haul. On that occasion his side lost by 111 runs at Lord's.
He soon began to set about Worcestershire when they resumed 61 ahead on 44 for 3. Matt Pardoe, on 22 overnight, became his first scalp of the day when he had him trapped lbw playing across the line for 28. Spinner Ravi Patel nipped in to remove nightwatchman Chris Russell for a career-best 22 before Roland-Jones pushed Worcestershire further down the slippery slope with two more wickets.
Firstly, he bowled Neil Pinner middle stump and then had Joe Leach caught in the slips by Joe Denly before Alexei Kervezee and Ben Cox managed to steer their side to 125 for 7- a lead of 142.
Wicketkeeper Cox fell to Steven Crook shortly after the interval before Kervezee completed his second half-century of the match after collecting three fours off 91 balls. Crook also accounted for Gareth Andrew courtesy of a catch on the mid-wicket boundary by Gareth Berg and when Alan Richardson was run out, Kervezee was undefeated on 64 containing five fours off 112 balls.
Middlesex soon lost captain Chris Rogers to Richardson to leave them still needing to score a further 177 after tea. Sam Robson and Denly went on to complete a half-century partnership before Denly had a let-off when he was put down in the slips by Phil Hughes off former Middlesex paceman Richardson.
He had another lucky escape shortly afterwards when he charged down the wicket to the luckless Richardson and skied the ball to mid-off, where Kervezee allowed the ball to spill out of both hands low down.
Robson was not so fortunate when he offered a catch to Moeen Ali at first slip off Andrew for 35 after the pair put on 77 in 21 overs Denly's charmed life finally came to an end when a top-edged sweep at Moeen was caught by Cox. Denly made 48, containing five fours off 72 balls.
Dawid Malan and Crook added 50 in eight overs before Malan departed to an excellent catch by Hughes running in from long-on off Moeen. Crook was ousted by Russell for a valuable 30 to set the scene for Berg and Neil Dexter to complete an entertaining victory.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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