WORCESTERSHIRE slipped to third in Specsavers County Championship Division Two after suffering their second defeat in a row.

Veteran Ireland paceman Tim Murtagh steered Middlesex to their first victory of the campaign in the competition with his 6-51 securing a 127-run success.

Murtagh, 37, struck twice before lunch at Blackfinch New Road, produced another triple breakthrough after the resumption and went on to finish with a match analysis of 35-16-76-8.

Worcestershire, set a 353 target after Middlesex declared overnight, were bowled out for 225 in 73.3 overs.

The visitors fully deserved their 20-point haul and fit-again captain Dawid Malan produced the game’s outstanding batting performance with scores of 45 and 124 on a wicket where the ball nipped around over all four days.

In the second innings, County opener Daryl Mitchell made a return to form for the hosts with a defiant 135-ball 51 and Ross Whiteley also produced strong resistance with a late-order 60.

But Worcestershire, who lost at Lancashire the previous week, were second best with bat and ball for most of the game.

Middlesex declared on their overnight total of 287-6 with John Simpson unbeaten on 30 and Toby Roland-Jones on 11 not out.

Murtagh took the new ball and struck in successive overs.

Tom Fell (4) was undone by a ball which bounced on him and nicked to Sam Robson at first slip with five on the board.

Then George Rhodes departed lbw for a duck to a Murtagh delivery which nipped back sharply.

Mitchell and Callum Ferguson tried to rebuild the innings and the latter needed 21 balls to get off the mark before reeling off a succession of boundaries.

They steered the County to 91-2 at lunch but Murtagh came back after the resumption to reassert a position of authority for Middlesex.

Ferguson (43) went for a drive to his first delivery of the afternoon from Murtagh and was pouched by Steve Eskinazi who held on to a head-high catch at second slip.

Two balls later Riki Wessels (0) pushed forward and only succeeded in finding Malan in the gulley region.

Mitchell went to his half-century containing nine fours with a single off Murtagh but in his next over dragged a delivery onto his stumps.

Murtagh had Whiteley dropped on 11 at third slip and the left-hander profited from his let-off, mixing defence with some trademark attacking strokes.

But the wickets continued to tumble at the other end with Ben Cox (14) and Ed Barnard (11) both caught behind off Tom Helm and Roland-Jones respectively.

Victim number six for Murtagh came when he defeated the defensive push of skipper Joe Leach (11) who was bowled.

Whiteley’s half-century came up from 90 deliveries with seven fours.

But the end came quickly as Josh Tongue (2) was taken at second slip off Helm and finally Whiteley, whose 112-ball knock contained nine fours, edged James Harris to first slip with 22.3 overs remaining.