Worcestershire v Middlesex, New Road, 2nd day April 10, 2010

Finn destroys Worcestershire with nine

Middlesex 126 and 12 for 1 v Worcestershire 287 and 119

England's newest pace prospect Steven Finn took a stunning career-best 9 for 37 to spearhead Middlesex's spirited fightback against Worcestershire in the Division Two game at New Road. The 21-year-old, who made his Test debut against Bangladesh at Chittagong in March, was again in brutal form to hoist his staggering match haul to 14 for 106.

Finn's performance eclipsed a fine display of pace bowling by Worcestershire's Richard Jones, who claimed 6 for 37 to dismiss Middlesex for 126 off 49.2 overs in reply to the hosts' 287. New Road skipper Vikram Solanki chose not to enforce the follow-on, but rapidly found Finn far too hot to handle.

He sliced through Worcestershire's shell-shocked line-up to demolish them for 119 and leave Middlesex a victory target of 281. By the close of a dramatic wicket-tumbling second day they were 12 for 1, with England captain Andrew Strauss unbeaten on 10.

Earlier, the visitors had found themselves in all sorts of bother against Jones, who was handed a place in the England performance programme during the winter when he attended a training camp in South Africa.

The benefits paid off handsomely as Jones confidently improved on his previous best figures of 6 for 100 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston last September. He soon set to work on Middlesex who slumped to 47 for five after resuming on 12 for 1 in reply to Worcestershire's 287.

Former Under-19 international Jones, who removed Strauss the previous evening for a single, struck with his fifth delivery to bowl night-watchman Iain O'Brien. Scott Newman soon followed when he became debutant seamer Alan Richardson's first victim for Worcestershire following his move from Middlesex.

Jones then struck again by tempting Dawid Malan into leaving a straight delivery which resulted in him being cleaned bowled. Worse was to follow for the shaky visitors when a mix-up led to Adam London being smartly run out by Alexei Kervezee.

Sam Robson, who top-scored with 32, was splendidly caught and bowled by Chris Whelan to leave Middlesex stumbling on 91 for 6 off 36 overs at lunch. Their troubles continued shortly after the interval when John Simpson was trapped lbw by Jones before Richardson had Shaun Udal snapped up by Kervezee at short leg.

Impressive Jones then polished off Middlesex 12 runs short of their follow-on target by ripping out Tim Murtagh and Finn, who quickly started to unsettle Worcestershire when they began building on their 161 first-innings lead.

Firstly, he accounted for Daryl Mitchell and then removed Solanki and Moeen Ali in successive deliveries. Phil Jaques and Kervezee steadied matters, however, with a 55-run partnership spanning 14 overs. It ended when Australian Jaques fell to O'Brien for 41.

Lethal Finn returned to oust Ben Smith and Kervezee to complete the firs 10-wicket match haul of his career before adding Ben Scott, Jones, Whelan and Gareth Andrew to his memorable collection.

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  • Jamie on April 10, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    The lad has a massive future and already has Test Match experience, could maybe have a big say on the pitches in Australia later on in the year, 6 foot 7 and can bowl 90mph, one to watch definitely.

  • Alex on April 10, 2010, 23:29 GMT

    I was also at New Road today; Finn the most impressive out there by a street although O'Brien was tight and Richardson and Jones also good at the end. Not a pitch for batsmen and Finn best when bowling full and straight - cutting some in and a bit of variable bounce. He looks to have a good action and is obviously very tall and very fit, although I didn't think much of Worcestershire's rather lazy batting. Jacques was powerful but a bit rash and no-one else looked up to facing the Deadly Finn.

  • Joe on April 10, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    Finn looks like being Englands drinks carrier for the next couple of years now. Hopefully he wont go the same way as tremlett and rashid have over the last couple of years.

  • David on April 10, 2010, 20:17 GMT

    I had the pleasure of watching this today - Finn should of had all 10 but for Strauss dropping Jaques at first slip on about 20. You felt that Finn was going to take a wicket with every ball and it looked like he could of just kept bowling all day. England need to look at making this guy a regular fixture if he's going to bowl like this. I must say that Richard Jones was also very impressive - a vast improvement on his performances last year. He could also be one for England to watch for the near future!

  • Mark on April 10, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    With doubts about the fitness of Onions, Anderson and Sidebottom, Steve Finn has to be in the frame to play against Bangladesh at Lords. What a story that would be. If he can keep this form up there is no point in holding him back.

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