County Championship round-up: Finn and Onions stake claim for Test spot

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The Independent Online

Steven Finn did his prospects of an England recall for the third Test at Edgbaston this week no harm by taking three wickets as Middlesex defeated Sussex at Lord's to claim their third Championship win of the summer.

The fast bowler, competing with Durham's Graham Onions for the place that will be available should England rest James Anderson, took 3 for 66 as Sussex were bowled out for 225 in their second innings, leaving Middlesex to score just 18 runs to complete a 10-wicket victory 40 minutes after tea on the final day.

Middlesex might have been home and dry sooner but for a stand of 63 between Ben Brown and Naveed Arif holding them up after Sussex had slumped to 101 for 6.

Finn supplemented the wicket of Ed Joyce on Friday by yorking the other opener, Chris Nash, before having Murray Goodwin caught at second slip. It was Goodwin's ninth single-figure score in 11 innings this season.

Onions issued a counter-claim by taking five wickets in an innings for the fourth time this season, although it was not quite enough to deny the defending champions, Lancashire, a belated first win of the season at Chester-le-Street.

Chasing 200 to win, Lancashire had to wait until 2.55pm to get on the field after a wet start and ended up needing all of the 44 overs remaining to score the 144 they still needed.

Lancashire had looked to be cruising at 156 for 4, Ashwell Prince hitting a stylish half-century. However, a collapse to 168 for 8 followed asOnions increased his haul to 6 for 52.

But then Kyle Hogg and Ajmal Shahzad scored 32 off 30 balls, Shahzad hitting the winning boundary with four balls to spare after Steve Harmison had begun the final over by bowling a no ball and conceding a bye.

After spoiling Nick Compton's bid to complete 1,000 runs before the end of May, the weather was the key factor, too, in preventing a positive result at New Road, where Worcestershire and Somerset settled for a draw after a quarter of the match was lost.

Once the outcome had become inevitable, the wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter unveiled himself as acloset off-spinner, taking two wicketsin three overs from his first bowl in professional cricket.