Worcestershire 431 for 5 dec (Fell 171, Kohler-Cadmore 130*) beat Middlesex 98 (Gabriel 5-31) and 205 (Simpson 50*, Shantry 3-51) by an innings and 128 runs
Middlesex left New Road not knowing whether there will be a big price to pay for a crushing defeat by an innings and 128 runs by relegated Worcestershire in their final Championship match of the season.
Their hold on a £169,000 bonus for finishing second in Division One now depends on the result at Trent Bridge on Friday. If Nottinghamshire are beaten or can only draw with Hampshire, their payout will be safe, but if Notts can conjure up a victory Middlesex would have to settle for the third -place prize money of £88,000.
Their performance over three days, in which they lost 20 wickets in 79.1 overs, was certainly not worthy of a team aiming for second place for the first time since 1995. They batted timidly, with scores of 98 and 205, and completely lost control when Worcestershire scored 102 in 70 minutes on the third morning, banking maximum bonus points and declaring at 431 for 5.
Tom Fell added only four runs before he was dismissed for a career-best 171 but Tom Kohler-Cadmore, his partner in a stand of 229 in 61 overs, remained undefeated with 130, his maiden first-class century.
The innings finished with wicketkeeper Ben Cox smashing a 37-ball half-century in making 53 not out towards a partnership of 78 in a dozen overs with Kohler-Cadmore.
If there was any consolation to be taken from Middlesex's abject retreat, it was Neil Dexter's contribution on his last day with the county before taking up a three-year contract with Leicestershire.
Teamed up with offspinner Ollie Rayner - a ploy to straighten out a lagging over-rate - Dexter took the only wickets to fall when the home side resumed at 329 for 3. Fell, after hitting 25 fours and a six from 267 balls, drove straight to cover and Ross Whiteley made only 9 before he was caught at third man.
Finally Dexter was given a generous reception by a group of Middlesex supporters when he was out for 24, caught low down at first slip, after batting better than most as all 10 wicket fell between lunch and a delayed tea interval.
The first sign of a headlong collapse came after an opening stand of 44. Sam Robson, leg-before for 16, and Nick Compton, edging behind the wicket, departed in four balls from Ed Barnard and in the next over from Jack Shantry, Paul Stirling was well held by Whiteley at fourth slip.
Dawid Malan ended a run of three ducks by top scoring with 25 but after putting on 48 with Dexter, he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel for the second time in the match. Shantry finished with three for 51 and John Simpson, unbeaten with 50, became top scorer in both innings after a last-wicket frolic of 72 in 9.4 overs with Tim Murtagh.