Worcs promoted despite a no show by Zaheer

Published: Sunday, September 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: A far from impressive show by Team India discard Zaheer Khan notwithstanding, Worcestershire registered a convincing five-wicket win over Northamptonshire here thus gaining a promotion to Division One of the English County Championship.

zNorthants' star spinner Monty Panesar's took his second five wicket haul of the match but half centuries by captain Vikram Solanki (50) and Stephen Moore (59) and useful contribution from Greame Hick (30) and Gareth Batty (25) ensured Worcestershire overhaul the 205-run target easily.

Zaheer, who has had an impressive all-round run in the county throughout the season, was lacklustre yesterday and remained wicketless. He grabbed two in the first innings.

Earlier yesterday, Wrocestershire promotion hopes were hanging by a thread when they started the final day at Wantage Road with Northants on 24 without loss, and with a lead of 85.

Northants didn't want to set up a run chase so we knew we had to bowl them out quickly but they collapsed dramatically to Worcestershire, who dismissed the hosts for 143 before their batsmen chased down the victory target of 205 for the loss of five wickets.

That left Worcester waiting anxiously for news of Essex's clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road and as soon as it was confirmed that Leicester had completed a thrilling five-wicket win, celebrations erupted in Worcestershire camp.

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