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Kent hold out to thwart Durham.

KENT'S 10th wicket partners Yasir Shah and Mitch Claydon saw out the final 46 balls to secure a thrilling Specsavers County Championship draw with Durham in Canterbury.

Shah, on his home debut, batted for 81 minutes while last man Claydon - a former Durham player - combined to deny Paul Collingwood's side their first win.

Required to bat all day to maintain their unbeaten status in the division, Kent lost three wickets in each of the opening two sessions.

The hosts first blow came to the 20th delivery of the day when opener Daniel Bell-Drummond dragged the ball onto his middle stump to slope off with only 17 to his name.

After helping to add 76 in 17.5 overs for the second wicket Joe Denly departed for 45 to the deserving Gavin Main.

Durham bagged their third wicket of the session with 117 on the board when Sean Dickson, four short of his 50, drove a firm return chance to the bowler Keaton Jennings.

After lunch Sam Northeast and Joe Weatherley dug in for 26.3 overs in adding 63 for the fourth wicket before Weatherley, the Hampshire loanee, departed for his fourth successive championship score in the 30s.

Darren Stevens came in to scratch around for 16 minutes without getting off the mark before he pushed at a Ryan Pringle delivery to be caught behind by Stuart Poynter.

Poynton was celebrating 10 runs later when Chris Rushworth's reintroduction at the Nackington Road End accounted for Will Gidman for the second time in the match.

Early in the final session and fresh from his unbeaten century in the first innings, Northeast emulated his Durham counterpart Paul Collingwood by notching a second innings halfcentury from 108-ball and with five fours.

Collingwood's bowling changes continued to work wonders and the fourth wicket in succession fell in the first over of a new stint. At 4.30pm Collingwood claimed the second new ball, tossed is to his attack leader Chris Rushworth and was rewarded with the wicket of Adam Rouse with the second delivery.

Playing back in defence Rouse (23) was adjudged lbw by umpire Steve Garrett although it appeared that the Durham cordon had initially appealed for a catch at the wicket.

Rushworth landed another hammer blow by ending Northeast's 229-minute vigil for 72.

Matt Coles, not known for his stoical batting, then joined forces with debutant Yasir Shah to take Kent into the last hour on 271 for eight. The ninth-wicket pair won their first battle in seeing off Rushworth who, after giving his all for 25 overs in a spell of three for 62, hobbled off for treatment to a stiff back.

Shah, working on the 'attack is the best form of defence' principle, unfurled a series of wristy flicks, cuts and drives to hit the ropes on five occasions before his partner Coles departed with under eight overs remaining.

Poking in defence at a shooting delivery the left-hander went for lbw for 30 to give Matthew Potts, the 18-year-old Durham Academy graduate, his maiden championship wicket on his first team debut.

Potts bowled the final delivery to Shah with six slips, two gulleys and a short leg.

The Pakistan all-rounder denied his fellow debutant, however.

Kent banked 8 points to Durham's 12.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2017
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