Victorious Middlesex on the up while Surrey suffer

Both London sides have endured dismal seasons but while Surrey's luck shows no sign of changing their rivals from north of the Thames are finally beginning to show some form. Middlesex yesterday recorded only their second Championship victory of the season, over Gloucestershire, to drag themselves away from the bottom of the Second Division. In contrast Surrey, who now have the indignity of propping up that table, face a tough battle today to avoid defeat to Kent at Canterbury.

It was Gareth Berg who shouldered much of the wicket-taking burden – he claimed 5-55 – as the Lord's team secured a 180-run victory. It was a career-best performance for the South African medium-pacer, who broke the back of the Gloucestershire batting with a spell of three for three in 10 balls just after lunch. The visitors had started the day requiring 351 runs for victory with seven wickets intact but they never looked likely winners, especially after Berg came into the attack.

In his third over of the day, he had Kadeer Ali caught by Nick Compton for 48 in the gully and then, with his next ball, he knocked back the middle stump of Steve Adshead. Gloucestershire subsided after lunch to be all out for 225.

Surrey, who began yesterday on reasonably even terms with Kent, will do well to match that. They are 148-5, just 54 runs ahead of their historic rivals, with Mark Ramprakash out of the game after fracturing a thumb on Saturday. He saw Darren Stevens smash a 126-ball 112, thereby bucking the trend of a mediocre four-day season, as Kent sped along at almost five an over to reach 517. They will expect to complete a resounding victory today that should all but secure their return to the First Division.

Hampshire may or may not be waiting for them there next season. Having won just two four-day games in 2009 they are still at risk of relegation and will be feeling frustrated after bad light robbed them of an opportunity against Somerset. Needing 140 from 17 overs to win, they were nine without loss from 11 balls when umpires Mark Benson and Nick Cook brought an end to the match.

Much happier are Sri Lanka, who have completed a 2-0 Test series triumph over New Zealand in Colombo. Daniel Vettori scored 140 – his highest Test score – but the Kiwis, who started the day on 182 for six chasing an improbable 494 for victory, were eventually bowled out for 397, losing by 96 runs. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was the star for the hosts, taking five for 139 from 48 overs.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss