ROUND-UP: Pitch warning at Worcester

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The Independent Online

Worcestershire have been warned that they will have 10 Championship points deducted if they prepare another poor pitch within the next 12 months. The wicket for the Britannic Assurance County Championship match against Middlesex, which Worcestershire lost by an innings and 30 runs, was reported to the Test and County Cricket Board by the umpires, Peter Willey and David Constant.

The TCCB inspector of pitches, Harry Brind, along with a three-man Lord's pitches committee of Tim Lamb, Donald Carr and Mike Hurst, inspected the surface yesterday.

A statement, issued by Lamb, said: "Whilst acknowledging that heavy river flooding in the spring did cause certain problems, the panel did not feel that this should necessarily have prevented the groundsman from being able to prepare a pitch of suitable quality."

Middlesex needed just 40 deliveries to complete their win at New Road yesterday. Tom Moody was left unbeaten on 90 after Worcestershire, who had resumed on 161 for 7, were dismissed for 170. Angus Fraser took the final two wickets to finish with 4 for 52 and match figures of 8 for 92.

Northamptonshire claimed the lead in the County Championship table by taking just 45 minutes and 70 balls to score the 83 runs required to complete their second success of the season, with Somerset being beaten by seven wickets. Allan Lamb was 85 not out, hitting two sixes off Mushtaq Ahmed to finish the match.

Surrey beat Durham at The Oval by an innings and 159 runs, the visitors reaching 224 after resuming on 56 for 2. The Surrey wicketkeeper, Graham Kersey, rounded off a fine personal performance with five second-innings catches to add to his maiden first-class half-century.