Steve Finn's extraordinary performance with the ball on Saturday at New Road lost a little of its shine when Middlesex contrived to lose by 111 runs to Worcestershire yesterday after England captain Andrew Strauss suffered his second failure of the match.
Needing 281 to win after Finn's 9-37 had rattled the home side out for 119, Middlesex resumed at 12-1 but once Strauss, dismissed for a single in the first innings, had been leg-before for 15 to former Middlesex team-mate Alan Richardson, the innings never found any real momentum, despite Dawid Malan's battling 69.
Sussex will expect to start their campaign with a win also after Murray Goodwin's 83 enabled them to reach 311-9 and set Glamorgan 405 to win at the Swalec Stadium, offering out-of-favour England spinner Monty Panesar the chance to mark his debut with a match-winning performance.
Leicestershire likewise should give Matthew Hoggard a winning start as captain after their dismissal of Northamptonshire for 269 following on. Hoggard bowled 13 wicketless overs at a cost of 67 runs but young seamer Wayne White took 4-58 and Leicestershire need only another 51 today, with nine wickets standing.