Zaheer falls agonisingly short as Essex launch fightback

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The Independent Online

Zaheer Khan fell just short of becoming the first bowler to take all 10 wickets in an innings in the County Championship for 12 years yesterday.

The Worcestershire fast bowler missed out when the last man Darren Gough was caught by Ben Smith off the bowling of Matt Mason in the Second Division match with Essex at Chelmsford. It meant he finished with figures of 9 for 138 as Essex, resuming on 186 for 9, were dismissed for 283.

Essex were forced to follow on, 367 behind Worcestershire's declared first innings total of 650, but fared better in the second innings, with Ravinder Bopara hitting 127 as they reached 302 for 4 at stumps, needing 65 to make Worcestershire bat for victory.

Also in the Second Division, Gloucestershire looked to set Derbyshire a tough target for victory following a positive declaration from the visitors at Bath. Travis Birt passed the century mark and Hassan Adnan added 73, with Derbyshire declaring their first innings 54 runs behind at 402 for 8.

Chris Taylor's 81 not out extended Gloucestershire's advantage to 217 as the hosts finished on 163 for 2 with a day remaining.

Glamorgan face a tricky run chase on the final day at Northampton as Usman Afzaal's century put the home side in contention. Starting the third day on 81 for 3, Northamptonshire reached 397 for 9 at close, with Afzaal contributing an unbeaten 148 as the hosts established a lead of 221 in their second innings.