Gloucestershire 93/3 & 273 beat Middlesex 210 & 152 by seven wickets Gloucestershire nipped through the only gap in the clouds to dismiss Middlesex cheaply a second time and, set only 90 to win under the floodlights at Lord’s, won by seven wickets. They became the first county to win four championship games this season, and Middlesex to lose four. The surprising surge by Gloucestershire - given that they last played in the first division in 2005 - has put a fox rather than a cat among the pigeons in the Group 2 conference, because if they go on to qualify for the first division in September that will leave only one space between Hampshire, widely tipped for this year’s title, Somerset, still desperate for their first championship, and Surrey, with all their affluence. Middlesex, three wickets down overnight, threatened to put together a partnership when Nick Gubbins began to use his feet to the visiting medium-pacers in a stand with John Simpson. David Payne, Gloucestershire’s tall left-armer, was brought back, dismissed both batsmen, wrapped up the tail, and finished with six wickets in the innings and eleven in the match. The gap between the first and second divisions of the championship had traditionally been considered huge yet, with all the counties mixed up in conferences, Payne has taken 19 wickets at 17 and his new-ball partner Ryan Higgins 28 at 18 each, second in aggregate only to Craig Overton. In early season, especially damp May, the gap between the counties has narrowed. Another difference for Gloucestershire this season has been a top order toughened by the signing of the West Indies captain and opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite. In contrast to more eminent predecessors, Brathwaite has scored only 218 runs but has soaked up a lot of deliveries, almost 500, so the lower order has been freed to score off old balls. Brathwaite also took a sharp catch, at sole slip, off Payne, and made the observation about his adopted county: “they are like family.” "It was a difficult decision to come here having only had my daughter on Saturday and only had a few days with her, but I feel like it was the right thing now. To get 11 wickets is more than I could have ever expected," said Payne after the match. "I feel in a confident place with my cricket. I’m confident enough that I can have two weeks away and still know I’m not going to have lost my skills. I’ve played long enough now and have the experience to know what I need to do. "I look at the slope here and it always makes me feel the ball is going to do something." Stuart Law, Middlesex head coach said: "We didn’t get enough runs in the first innings. The wicket did plenty that first day, but I still think we should have scored another 50-100 runs on that pitch. "And getting bowled out again for 150 is not good enough. We batted under lights and gloomy skies, but the wicket wasn’t behaving too badly today. We are nowhere near going long enough with the bat in hand "Robbie White is a good template for the rest of our batsmen to have a look at. He keeps it very simple and does the basics really well. His technique is suited for when the ball is seaming around."