If Surrey are the Manchester United of cricket, then it is only fitting for cricket manager Chris Adams to be delivering football-style dressing-downs to his under-performing players.
Not that they are making any difference. With a nod to Sir Alex Ferguson, Adams reportedly staged a Lord's lock-in after a dismal third day against Middlesex but if the hairdryer was out in the Surrey dressing room it didn't work. For the second time in the match, the home side blew away all bar one of the Surrey batsmen to clinch an innings' victory that puts them clear at the top of the Second Division and leaves Surrey bottom, after Essex beat Glamorgan at Chelmsford thanks to a century from Ravi Bopara.
Where Tom Maynard bucked the pattern of cheap dismissals with an unbeaten 98 in the first innings, Steve Davies tried to hold things together yesterday. Well though he played before Middlesex captain Neil Dexter bowled him for 94, Surrey still folded to 200 all out to lose inside three days.
Middlesex's three wins from three games puts them 20 points ahead of Gloucestershire, whose success at Canterbury was made easier by the effective absence of Kent opener Joe Denly, who has a broken thumb and could only bat at nine down.
Ed Joyce's century for Sussex against Lancashire was his first since he reverted to his true Irish nationality after admitting failure in his ambition to play Test cricket for England and was stretched to 140 despite being felled by a beamer from pace bowler Saj Mahmood. He was barred from bowling again having let one slip out against Rana Naved-ul-Hasan earlier.
An unbeaten maiden century from the Pakistan-born all-rounder Naved Arif, in an extraordinary last wicket stand of 90 with Monty Panesar, denied Lancashire despite having made Sussex follow on 300 behind.
Durham went above Lancashire and Warwickshire after Scott Borthwick, the 21-year-old leg spinner, took four wickets as Warwickshire collapsed to 137 all out and then hit the winning boundary in an unbeaten 48.Reuse content