Division Two: Worcestershire move clear at the top; Kent beat Surrey to boost promotion hopes
Last Updated: 23/07/14 6:49pm
Worcestershire took another step towards a return to the top flight with an eight-wicket victory over Gloucestershire with a day to spare at Cheltenham.
The visitors knocked off a target of 51 to earn their seventh win of the season in Division Two and extend their lead at the top of the table to 43 points.
Gloucestershire had earlier needed a 10th-wicket stand of 137 between Chris Miles and Liam Norwell to avoid an innings defeat.
On 10-1 in their second innings, following on, at the start of day three, Gloucestershire slumped to 152-9, with left-arm seamer Jack Shantry (4-52) picking up four wickets.
Miles (62no) and Norwell (78) both hit career-best scores - Norwell setting a Gloucestershire record for a No 11 - to ensure Worcestershire at least had to bat again.
Gloucestershire also managed to dismiss Daryl Mitchell for the first time in the match - Worcestershire's captain carried his bat for 167 in the first innings - during the brief run chase in the evening session.
Mitchell (15) was caught by Michael Klinger off left-arm spinner Tom Smith's bowling and his opening partner Richard Oliver (18) fell to Benny Howell before Tom Fell (14no) and Alexei Kervezee (4no) completed Worcestershire's win.
Surrey's promotion hopes suffered a dent as they went down to an 89-run defeat against Kent at Guildford.
Darren Stevens claimed 5-38 as Surrey were bowled out for 213 chasing a target of 303 on the final day.
Tillakaratne Dilshan top scored with 68 off 64 balls for Surrey but wickets fell regularly and medium pacer Stevens - who now has a career high of 43 first-class wickets this season - sealed Kent's win with three quick strikes in the evening session.
Kent had earlier extended their overnight 229-6 into a second-innings total of 292, Sam Billings stranded on 57 not out.
Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker finished with 7-90 to take his match tally to 11 wickets, and he also scored 53 with the bat in the first innings.
The result propels Kent into the Division Two promotion race; Rob Key's men are fifth in the table, 23 points behind second-placed Surrey, but with two games in hand.