Zaheer on cloud nine after solo destruction of Essex

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The Independent Online

Worcestershire's Zaheer Khan clinically dismantled Essex yesterday taking all nine wickets to fall, and will fancy his chances of completing the rout himself at Chelmsford today.

Zaheer recorded a career-best 9 for 65 as Essex surrendered tamely in response to Worcestershire's 650 for 7 declared, slumping to 186 for 9 at the end of the second day in their Second Division match.

The 27-year-old Indian fast bowler found prodigious swing which left Essex shell-shocked as nine wickets fell for 68 runs.

Khan said: "The main thing is that Worcestershire are in a strong position [but] it would be nice to get that final wicket in the morning."

On a day of brilliant bowling feats, Charlie Shreck took the first eight Middlesex wickets as Nottinghamshire pulled off a belated first win in defence of their County Championship title at Trent Bridge.

Shreck destroyed the visitors on the third afternoon, reducing them to 49 all out on his way to a career-best 8 for 31 and a 12-wicket match haul as Nottinghamshire won by an innings and 33 runs to rise from the bottom of the table.

After David Hussey (107)had laboured for 331 minutes to help his team to 358, and a first-innings lead of 82, the 6ft 7in Shreck tormented the Middlesex batsman either side of tea with his accurate and lively pace.

Middlesex were left to ponder the fact that they had made the lowest total in First Division history ­ bowled out in 27.4 overs.