Worcestershire's hopes of gaining promotion from Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship have received a boost – without them facing or bowling a ball.

The County had moved into second spot in the table after clinching a 311 run success over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road on Tuesday.

Now leaders Essex have lost their game in hand today after going down to Gloucestershire at Cheltenham yesterday.

It means Essex have a slender seven point lead over skipper Daryl Mitchell's side with both sides now having played 10 matches.

Gloucestershire have moved up into third spot – four points behind Worcestershire but with a match in hand.

Worcestershire have still to meet Essex in the return clash between the two sides at Chelmsford from August 31 to September 3.

Both sides have won three matches to date with Essex and Worcestershire having 35 and 32 batting bonus points respectively – the best two hauls in the division.

Worcestershire have enjoyed back to back wins in the competition but now have to put the Championship on hold for two weeks before they face Kent at Canterbury.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "It seems to happen for us, but I'm sure it happens for other teams as well. We've got some games that you would consider winnable games.

"By all means, they are not easy games but they are definitely games where points could be available. They are tough games but in many ways it is a real good challenge for us.

"When we play Essex, if we can turn the tables on them then we are going to gain some massive kudos and crucial points.

"It is like a double header so we are just looking forward to the run-in and it's good we've managed to get a couple of wins under our belt and the optimism for doing well in that competition is back."

DIVISION TWO TABLE

Essex Played 10, Won 3, Lost 2, Drawn 5, Batting 35, Bowling 29, Points 137

WORCS 10,3, 1, 6, 32, 20, 130

Gloucs 9, 3, 1, 5, 30, 23, 126

Kent 10, 2, 1, 7, 25, 21, 113

Leics 9, 2, 2, 5, 29, 21, 106

Sussex 8, 1, 0, 7, 19, 17, 87

Derbys 10, 0, 2, 8, 23, 18, 81

Northants 10, 0, 2, 8, 23, 18, 81

Glam 8, 0, 3, 5, 21, 19, 64