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19th May 2010

Durham bowl themselves into winning position

Durham resumed day three’s play with Ben Stokes (161*) and Ben Harmison at the crease, the pair guided the total past the 350 shortly after which Harmison was caught in the slips by van Jaarsveld off the bowling of Ntini for 12.

Mitchell Claydon (3) fell to the same fate, becoming Ntini’s fifth wicket of the innings, bringing Chris Rushworth in to partner Stokes.  

The Durham 400 and Ben Stokes’ 150, off 190 balls and including 18 fours and two sixes,  were brought up in the 20th over of the day.

Chris Rushworth recorded his highest first class total, 18, before he was caught by Northeast off Khan.  Durham were all out for 418, just 6 behind Kent’s first innings total, after Stephen Harmison nicked it to Geraint Jones off Mahmood, Ben Stokes returned to the pavilion unbeaten on 161.

Chris Rushworth and Stephen Harmison opened the attack for Durham and with the first change Mitchell Claydon had Kent’s dangerman, Rob Key, caught at short leg by Scott Borthwick for 20, leaving Kent 34-1.

Rushworth had Denly out lbw, for 14, the following over and went on to bowl Jones for 17 as his spell continued and Kent fell to 71-3.  Kent were 97-4 after Northeast was bowled by Blackwell for 9.

As van Jaarsveld looked to be settling in at the crease, Stephen Harmison picked up the vital wicket, he was caught at second slip by Di Venuto on 44, leaving Kent 121-5.

The seventh wicket of the session went to Blackwell, who had Mahmood out lbw for 11.  At tea, Kent were 124-6.
The final four wickets fell within twelve overs, with Borthwick bowling Ferley for 1 in the first full over after tea.  Alex Blake’s middle stump was removed, an over later, by Blackwell when he was on 7, leaving Kent 135-8. 

Borthwick picked up his second wicket when Cook’s attempt deflected off Mustard’s gloves into the hands of Michael Di Venuto at first slip. 

A bowling change saw Stephen Harmison claim the last wicket, that of Ntini who was caught behind for 13, with the fifth ball of his third spell.  Kent were all out for 162.

Michael Di Venuto and Kyle Coetzer were first out into the middle as Durham chase 169 for victory.  Both were out within seven overs leaving Durham 19-2 after Coetzer was bowled by Ntini for 3 and Venuto was caught at deep mid wicket by Khan off Mahmood for 10.

Durham were 37-3 after Scott Borthwick was bowled by Khan for 14, bringing Blackwell to the crease to join Benkenstein.

A bowling change from Kent brought Rob Ferley on at the Pavilion End and with ten scored off the first over, thee Durham total started move forward fairly rapidly. 

By the close of play Durham were 67-3, with Benkenstein 24* and Blackwell 18*, requiring 102 to claim a victory tomorrow.

After scoring his unbeaten 161 Ben Stokes said, “It’s been good, not just as a personal performance but from a team perspective we’ve done really well to recover from the first innings.  The way we came back and batted ourselves back into the game and then to bowl them out for a low score has been a great effort from the lads over the last two days.

“I got given a chance in Dubai to play against the MCC and I did quite well and then to come back to England and get a few runs in a friendly against Lancashire and be given the chance in these first few championship games has been a great experience for me.

“It’s been a great feeling to get my first, first-class hundred under my belt and then come back the next game and get another one. It’s a pretty special feeling.”

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