Middlesex scrape home despite Bichel's hundred

Middlesex eased their Championship relegation worries with victory at New Road - but it was closer than they would have expected after reducing Worcester to 47 for 4 yesterday. Andy Bichel, who hit 16 fours and a six, scored 108, and Worcester's other overseas import, South Africa's Andrew Hall, made 81. They were eventually all out for 323, with Simon Cook taking six wickets, leaving Middlesex to make 104 in 30 overs. They limped home with 4.1 to spare.

In the day's other top-division match champions Sussex seem poised for only their second win of this year's campaign. After running up an imposing 618 - the highest total in Sussex-Kent games - they reduced Kent to 99 for 3, still 189 behind, by the close of the third day. Sussex's innings included a scarcely credible 88 extras, 52 of them courtesy of 26 no-balls. A high-scoring draw looms in the second-division match at Trent Bridge, where Notts ended the day with 534 for 6 in reply to Hampshire's 641. The highlight was 170 from Notts' Aussie import David Hussey.

In the totesport League Northants missed the chance of closing the gap on Glamorgan at the top of the first division, going down by 30 runs to Essex. Jamie Foster's 39 was the best batting effort of a low-scoring game. Gloucestershire slammed Lancashire in a rain-affected match at Cheltenham, while Surrey's emphatic win over Warwickshire at Guildford wasn't enough to lift them off the bottom of the table. Down in Division Two Leicestershire sneaked home against Durham, while Yorkshire won a high-scoring game at Scarborough, despite Ricky Ponting's 113 in 107 balls - with ten fours and three sixes - for Somerset.

County Championship Division One

Middlesex 525 and 105 for 4 beat Worcestershire 305 and 323 (Bichel 108, Hall 81, Cook 6-89) by 6 wickets at Worcester
Day 1 report: Hall and Solanki expose limitations - The Times Online
Day 2 report: Compton comes to Hutton's aid - The Times Online
Day 3 report: Shah plays a former-captain's innings - The Sunday Telegraph
Day 4 report: Middlesex are made to work for the spoils - The Daily Telegraph

Sussex 618 (Cottey 185, Prior 123, Patel 5-138) lead Kent 330 and 99 for 3 by 189 runs runs at Hove
Day 1 report: Fulton and Smith take their lead from Key - The Times Online
Day 2 report: Dozy day by the sea for Kent - The Sunday Telegraph
Day 3 report: Sussex turn the screw - The Daily Telegraph

County Championship Division Two

Nottinghamshire 534 for 6 (Bicknell 103, Hussey 170, Read 75, Ealham 79*) trail Hampshire 641 for 4 dec by 107 runs at Trent Bridge
Day 1 report: Crawley returns to his fluent best - The Times Online
Day 2 report: Crawley rolls back the years - The Independent on Sunday
Day 3 report: Batsmen hit back - The Daily Telegraph

Totesport League Division One

Essex 168 (Louw 4-30) beat Northamptonshire 138 (Napier 4-23) by 30 runs at Southend

Gloucestershire 211 for 9 (Hussey 60) beat Lancashire 114 (Lewis 5-23) by 102 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method) at Cheltenham

Surrey 315 for 8 (Benning 71, Clarke 70, Azhar Mahmood 56*) beat Warwickshire 225 (Bell 89) by 90 runs at Guildford

Totesport League Division Two

Leicestershire 176 for 7 beat Durham 161 for 8 (G Pratt 55*) by 15 runs at Leicester

Yorkshire 255 for 4 (Wood 56, Lumb 71, Gale 70*) beat Somerset 252 for 6 (Ponting 113) by 6 wickets at Scarborough

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