Electing to bat first, Surrey scored 220 for six in 40 overs and in reply, Worcestershire could reach 207 for nine in as many overs.
It was Zaheer's early two-wicket burst that had tilted the game in Worcestershire's favour but they just could not tighten the noose and Mark Butcher (79) not only arrested the slide but also laid foundation for a decent score.
Surrey lost opened Scott Newman (1) when Zaheer had him caught by Graeme Hick and the score was 12 for one. Just one more run added to the board and the Team India discard struck again when his delivery trapped the other opener Ally Brown (8) plumb in front and Surrey were pushed to the backfoot at 13 for two before Butcher and Mark Ramprakash (20) stemmed the rot.
Zaheer, however, could not do much with the bat and was run out for a duck in the first ball he faced.