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Dropped catch costs Zaheer a perfect ten

Worcestershire's Zaheer Khan missed out on the chance to join the exclusive club of bowlers who have taken all ten wickets in an innings when Matt Mason took the last Essex wicket to fall at Chelmsford.
Zaheer took all nine wickets to fall yesterday in a remarkable spell of 9 for 28 in 69 balls, ending the day with 9 for 65. With all the fielders packed round the bat to try to help Zaheer when play resumed, Ravi Bopara and Darren Gough took the opportunity to hit out.

Zaheer, who bowled 21.3 overs unchanged last night, looked tired and unable to rediscover the swing which served him so well, and Gough in particular took a liking to him, the pick of his strokes being a driven six. The 33 balls Zaheer bowled today were smashed for 73, meaning that either side of his remarkable spell he took 0 for 110.

But it should have been glory for Zaheer. When Gough was on 5 he got a bottom edge off an attempted pull, but wicketkeeper Steven Davies spilt a far-from-difficult catch diving to his right. Gough made the most of his reprieve to hammer 50 off 33 balls before falling to Mason. Bopara ended unbeaten on 67.

Middlesex's Richard Johnson was the last player to take all 10 wickets in an innings in a Championship match when he grabbed 10 for 45 against Derbyshire in 1994. In international cricket only Jim Laker and Anil Kumble have performed the feat.