County Championship - day four 

Somerset 236 & 250-9 beat Middlesex 142 & 113 by 231 runs

JACK Leach bounced back from his England Ashes snub by spinning Somerset to Division One survival as the hosts closed out a comprehensive 231 run victory over Middlesex in Taunton.

The 26-year-old ended with 5-57 as Somerset wrapped up the victory before lunch on day four to prolong their status as the longest-serving team in the top tier.

Somerset set the tone from the off with the ball, as Middlesex had added just three runs to their overnight score of 40-3 when Stevie Eskinazi was superbly caught by Marcus Trescothick on his knees at slip from the bowling of Roelof van der Merwe.

Adam Voges and John Simpson then looked to defend - though Voges was fortunate to survive a run-out appeal on 12 - and Somerset had to bide their time with the ball.

Their patience was rewarded, however, when Leach induced an edge from Voges (16) and Craig Overton took the catch at slip to leave Middlesex 71-5.

The end came swiftly after that, with Simpson the next to go as he went back to a slighly quicker Jack Leach delivery and was trapped in front on 19 as the spinner picked up his 50th First Class wicket of the season.

Roelof van der Merwe then took control, with his turn proving too much for Paul Stirling (5), who edged to Overton, before James Harris (13) top edged a sweep which was easily held by George Bartlett and Tim Murtagh (8) was clean bowled having an ugly heave.

From then on it was a matter of time, and fittingly it was Leach who took the final wicket as Finn was adjudged lbw and the spinner ended with figures of 5-57 from 26.5 overs.

The victory ensures Somerset are guaranteed to finish above Middlesex, who will be relegated if Hampshire beat Warwickshire at Edgbaston - if Hampshire lose, it is they who will go down.

Just like last year, Somerset have built up a head of steam in the final part of the season and, though last year's title bid ultimately ended in disappointment, this season's Great Escape has been successful after three wins in the last four matches.

Somerset are also not expected to be punished for the pitch, which has been marked as 'below average' - clubs need two such ratings over the course of a season to face a penalty, and this is Somerset's first.