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.