County round-up: Worcestershire suffer in grip of Tomlinson

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The Independent Online

A five-wicket haul by James Tomlinson enabled title-chasing Hampshire to tighten their grip over relegated Worcestershire on the second day of the County Championship First Division match at Kidderminster. The left-arm paceman took five wickets for 78 runs to dismiss Worcestershire for 289 in 73.1 overs in reply to Hampshire's 444 off 123.5 overs.

Despite battling half-centuries by Steve Davies and Abdul Razzaq, the hosts fell just six runs short of their 295-run follow-on target.

The Hampshire captain Shane Warne, however, decided to increase his side's 155-run first innings advantage and by the close they had stretched their healthy overall lead to 167 by reaching 12 without loss. Warne employed similar tactics when he did not enforce the follow-on in last month's match between the two sides when Hampshire won by 285 runs at Southampton.

The visitors quickly began turning the screw when they resumed on 349 for five off 104 overs with Michael Lumb – on 36 overnight – hitting 63 containing nine fours off 127 balls.

A century from Ed Smith and a Championship-best 76 from Eoin Morgan put Middlesex in a strong position after they had won the toss in the County Championship Second Division match at Bristol.

The visitors closed the first day on 394 for 7, with Smith and Morgan having shared a fourth-wicket stand of 174 in 41 overs. Smith's contribution – 111 off 178 balls, with 17 fours – helped Middlesex recover from 81-3. Later, Ben Scott hit an unbeaten 76 to move his side to within six runs of maximum batting points.

It was a tough day for the Gloucestershire bowlers, Carl Greenidge claiming three wickets for 79 runs and left-arm spinner Vikram Banerjee getting through 28 overs for figures of 1 for 90.