Middlesex beat Leicestershire to win Division Two title

LV County Championship Division Two, Grace Road
Middlesex 502 & 127-5 beat Leicestershire 319 & 306 by five wickets
Middlesex 24pts, Leics 5pts
Match scorecard
Middlesex celebrate winning the Division Two title
Middlesex won eight of their 16 Championship games this season

Middlesex beat Leicestershire by five wickets at Grace Road to win the Division Two title.

The home side resumed the final day on 222-7 but their tail wagged as Leicestershire were bowled out for 306.

With a victory target of 124, Middlesex slipped from 57-0 to 90-5 but John Simpson (27 not out) and Gareth Berg (19 not out) held their nerve.

Middlesex will now play in the top flight for the first time since 2006, while Northants miss out on promotion.

They have ended up finishing third, a point behind Surrey, who confirmed their promotion on Wednesday with victory over Derbyshire.

Leicestershire finish bottom of the table with 88 points and their only victory coming in the opening game of the season against Glamorgan.

The hosts began the day leading by 39 runs and it took Middlesex 22.2 overs to claim the last three wickets, with Leicestershire adding another 84 runs.

Ned Eckersley (50) and Jigar Naik (22) put on 38 for the eighth wicket, before the latter fell lbw to Corey Collymore.

Nathan Buck (26) and Eckersley then added 44 for the ninth wicket but Eckersley holed out to long-off, soon after reaching his second half-century of the match.

Buck was Leicestershire's last man out to leave Middlesex needing 124 runs to win the Division Two title.

Openers Andrew Strauss and Sam Robson put on 44 runs in seven overs before lunch and victory seemed routine.

But Middlesex lost five wickets for 33 runs in an 11-over spell to set up a nervy finish.

Robson fell lbw to Naik for 32 and Strauss was caught behind off Wayne White (3-36) for 30.

Dawid Malan was run out without scoring and White then got rid of Jamie Dalrymple and Chris Rogers.

It was left to Simpson and Berg to cut loose and put on a quick-fire unbeaten 37 for the sixth wicket to ensure Division One cricket for Middlesex next season.