Gloucestershire slipped to another defeat and continued their disastrous period since the Cheltenham festival began, losing five games from seven as the excellent cricket at the start of the season has been wasted.
The masters of not being able to consolidate, the Shire lost two successive wickets three times in their second innings and slid out of contention for promotion on the fourth afternoon after never looking capable of saving this match.
The failures with the batting have been well documented on this blog and their confidence now shot, one cannot see how improvement will be made in the remaining fixtures - all which would have to be won for a dramatic turnaround to win promotion.
Kadeer received another good delivery but played well for his 48 - despite many calls I do not feel he should be dropped. I would retain Rob Woodman also; he is a good young player feeling his way into first-class cricket.
It was a career-best 5-55 from Gareth Berg that saw Middlesex home. He used the slope extremely well & produced edges from Kadeer, Richard Dawson, Ian Saxelby & Jon Lewis, and produced a wonderful inswinging yorker to hand Steve Adshead a golden duck.
An all-round miserable match for the Shire who have some serious soul-searching to do if they are to compete in the last three games.
The positives were Chris Taylor's runs, Franklin's second-innings 80 not out and the fightback with the ball in the first-innings; promotion isn't out of the equation just yet.
Official report: www.gloscricket.co.uk