Nottinghamshire v Middlesex: Hosts win final-day run chase
|LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge|
|Nottinghamshire 392 & 387-4 beat Middlesex 505 & 271-9 by six wickets|
|Notts 22pts, Middlesex 8pts|
Alex Hales scored 94 to set up Nottinghamshire's six-wicket final-day run-chase victory over Middlesex to go top of the County Championship.
Paul Stirling (66 not out) helped the visitors add 51 runs to declare on 271-9, with Harry Gurney (4-76) taking three of the four wickets to fall.
The hosts were set 385 in 86 overs and Hales and Phil Jacques (76) put on 156.
Michael Lumb added 68, before Riki Wessels (74 not out) and James Taylor (56 not out) saw Notts to victory.
It was Nottinghamshire's highest successful run chase at Trent Bridge since 1926, when they scored 419-6 to beat Leicestershire.
Notts move five points clear of second-placed Somerset, who have a game in hand and a further five clear of Yorkshire, who are fourth and currently in the middle of a Championship game with Sussex.
Middlesex looked for quick runs in the morning but soon lost John Simpson to Gurney for 49.
Toby Roland-Jones (16) mistimed a hook and skied one to Read off Luke Fletcher and a fuller ball from Gurney accounted for Tim Murtagh for a second-ball duck.
A Gurney yorker then saw off Steven Finn and Middlesex declared, leading by 384 runs.
Hales and Jacques eased Notts to 108-0 from 18 overs at lunch, but Ravi Patel got rid of both dangermen in the afternoon session.
Jacques hit 13 fours before being caught by Roland-Jones, while Hales - who was out for 96 in the first innings - was trapped leg before on the front foot six short of a century, after hitting one six and 10 fours.
Lumb, who by then had reached his first half-century of the season, was joined by Taylor and Notts reached tea on 234-2, needing 151 from 37 overs.
But Lumb flashed at a wide delivery from Steven Finn (1-79) and was caught behind by a diving Simpson, and Samit Patel drove Ravi Patel to short cover in the next over.
Taylor and Wessels shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 103 to see Notts to their victory target, with the latter hooking Eoin Morgan for six to seal Nottinghamshire's third win of the season.
Wessels smashed five sixes and five fours in his 48-ball knock as Notts won with more than 11 overs to spare.
BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle:
"Sometimes you can only say 'wow' when watching professional sport.
"Many years (2001) have passed since I saw Notts chase down 461 at Worcestershire but this was up there, their third-highest run-chase of all time.
"An extraordinary effort again from the top order, with five batsmen passing fifty, and two vitally important century stands to see the side over the line.
"Middlesex will feel hard done to but this was a day when Notts put themselves back into the frame as potential title-chasers."