Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell paid a high price for his enterprise as his side were shot out for 150 to give Middlesex an 132-run win in the LV= Championship clash at Lord's.
Worcestershire are already regarded as one of the favourites for relegation from Division One but they were well placed to hold out for a draw after the third day of a game badly hit by rain and bad light.
They were 45 for two in reply to Middlesex's 327 for seven declared.
An overnight declaration by Worcestershire and a Middlesex forfeiture produced a target of 283 which, although comfortable in terms of run rate, proved to be way beyond Worcestershire's scope against an efficient seam attack in helpful conditions. The end came midway through the afternoon session.
Worcestershire's openers never looked comfortable and it was no great surprise when Michael Klinger perished in the ninth over to a clever piece of bowling from Tim Murtagh. Expecting Murtagh's customary away movement, Klinger offered no shot and was leg before when the ball swung back into him.
Murtagh struck again in his next over, Mitchell edging a perfectly pitched away swinger to Dawid Malan at second slip.
Worcestershire's hopes rested squarely on their third-wicket pair, Vikram Solanki and Moeen Ali, and when they fell in successive overs, leaving the score on a precarious 35 for four, Middlesex scented victory.
Andrew Strauss had dropped a straightforward slip chance late on the third evening, but he accounted for both Solanki and Moeen to give Gareth Berg a wicket in his second over and Toby Roland-Jones one with his fifth ball.
Worcestershire's run rate slipped below two an over, but left-hander James Cameron broke the shackles briefly with three crisply struck boundaries in a Berg over which cost 15 runs.
Berg was kept on and rewarded the faith of his captain, Chris Rogers, with a fine delivery which Matthew Pardoe, Cameron's fifth-wicket partner, edged to John Simpson behind the stumps.
Cameron, having hit six fours in his innings of 30, became Roland-Jones's second victim 20 minutes after lunch when he was leg before to a ball which moved back into him.
Worcestershire's position looked even more hopeless in the next over when Murtagh barely disturbed Ben Scott's bails and 93 for seven became 96 for eight when David Lucas edged Roland-Jones to Malan in the slips.
A stand of 54 in 12 overs between Aneesh Kapil and Richard Jones put a slightly cheerier complexion on Worcestershire's score before Steven Finn dismissed Jones, thanks to a brilliant catch in the gully by Neil Dexter, then bowled Alan Richardson three balls later.