Alan Richardson seals Worcestershire win
Worcestershire 287 and 119 beat Middlesex 126 and 169 by 111 runs
Middlesex plunged to a 111-run defeat following another batting failure by Andrew Strauss in the County Championship Division Two match against Worcestershire at New Road.
The England captain, who resumed on 10, fell for 15 after making only a single in his first innings. His rapid exit started a steady decline by Middlesex who, despite a battling 69 from Dawid Malan, were all out for 169 in their pursuit of a victory target of 281.
Strauss, warming up for his return to England duty, spent just three quarters of an hour at the crease during a match in which he faced 38 balls. His failure to get into full flow gave Worcestershire an opportunity to open their season in fine style after being unable to register a victory during last year's grim relegation campaign.
The last time they won a Championship match was in August 2008 when they overcame Essex by six wickets at Colchester. Their previous triumph in the competition at New Road was in July of the same year when they beat Glamorgan by 10 wickets. After 19 games without a Championship win, Vikram Solanki's men scented overdue success when the visitors started to subside after resuming on 12 for one.
Strauss added only a four and a single before being trapped lbw when he left alone a delivery from his former Middlesex team-mate Alan Richardson, who marked his Worcestershire debut with a four-for-35 haul. Strauss' quickfire dismissal, after an innings spanning 27 balls in which he hit a couple of fours, led to Sam Robson joining nightwatchman Iain O'Brien in what was a brief partnership. Paceman Richard Jones made sure of that when he fired in a delivery which reared up at O'Brien who fended a catch to Daryl Mitchell at second slip.His departure brought together Robson and Malan who added a further 42 before Worcestershire struck again to have Robson, prodding forward to Gareth Andrew, caught behind by Ben Scott who is on loan from Middlesex.
Shortly afterwards the hosts spurned a chance to get rid of Malan when he was put down while on 31 at second slip by Mitchell off Chris Whelan. The escape allowed him to move on to 46 before losing the companionship of Adam London who, going for a second run, was run out by a direct throw from third man by Richardson. John Simpson then fell to Jones for a duck before Malan completed his half century soon after with nine fours off 78 balls.
Gareth Berg was dropped by Scott off Jones for 18, but added only four more runs before being lbw to Richardson. Shaun Udal survived a spilled slip catch to Moeen Ali before Malan finally departed after hitting 11 fours off 122 balls to leave Worcestershire to quickly polish off the final two wickets for a three-day victory.