Worcestershire v Middlesex, New Road, 3rd day April 11, 2010

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.

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  • Paul on April 13, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    yes Mikey, this is just a day's play bulletin and Finny had taken his wickets the day earlier. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to trumpet his amazing feat of taking a 9-fer in the second innings, and yes Finny is certainly an England prospect for the future. MCCC is in an interesting position just now. The team has some seasoned internationals, a forty-something skipper and a group of kids. The team has talent for sure, but this mix of old and new still needs some time to get things together. The downside of that is that in our modern times, patience can be rather short. But I am optimistic about the future for the mighty Panthers.

  • Dave on April 13, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    mikey - you didn't read the previous day's report then?

  • michael on April 13, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    What a ridiculous bulletin! Not a single mention of Steven Finn in the whole article. This is probably our hottest pace prospect on the circuit and he bags 14 wickets. Nine of those wickets in an innings, how often does that happen? Yes it's really interesting to know that Strauss failed twice and Malan made a half century but the stand-out performance went completely unnoticed, absolutely ridiculous reporting from this site and BBC Sport too.

  • David on April 12, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    I think that's a rather harsh report blaming Andrew Strauss for Middx's defeat. No mention of the missing Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan at the IPL or Neil Dexter (unwell?) who would have added experience to the batting and no mention of the young (but talented) batting line up. No mention also of Billy Godleman scoring runs for Essex and Nick Compton scoring runs for Somerset, both of whom dissapointingly left Middx last year leaving the batting quite exposed this season. Perhaps management and administrators had a part to play as well? Allblue says Strauss got a bad decision in the second innings. I was there on Friday and the word is he got a bad decision in the first innings too, given out caught behind to one he did not touch? What a match for Steven Finn though!

  • Dave on April 12, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    I hadn't realised that, Daryl Mitchell, Alan Richardson and Richard Jones had been playing for England.

    Both sides have suffered the lack of outdoor opportunities.

    Middlesex should have dismissed Worcestershire for much less than 287 after putting them in on a "green-top".

    One game does not make a season. At least Strauss is playing and not sitting out these early games.

  • Ross on April 11, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    That's a very pithy comment tomjs100. As England captain Strauss has a responsibility to express his opinion on what he thinks is best for the England team, and besides, whenever the ECB have released him he has always come back and done his bit for his county. It so happens he got a bad decision today, given out to one going over the top, and with him gone the chances of chasing down that total were slim. It must have been one of the youngest middle-orders ever for Middlesex: Robson 20; Malan 22; London 21; Simpson 21. On an early season Worcester green-top with variable bounce anything over 200 would have been tricky. Also thanks to poor weather Middlesex have had no outdoor practise pre-season, so it was not surprising that the stand-out performer was playing off the back of recent England performances.

  • Thomas on April 11, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Perhaps Strauss should apply himself a little more to making some runs and helping his side, rather than criticising county cricket and consigning his team to defeat from a Worcester side seriously short on ability.

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