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Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 11:56 UK

Durham buoyed by Di Venuto knock

Canterbury (day two, close): Kent 225 v Durham 289-6
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; live scorecards on each game on BBC Sport website, mobiles and Ceefax; coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC local radio

Michael Di Venuto
Di Venuto's brilliant 90 included 13 fours and one six

Michael Di Venuto kept Durham's title hopes alive with a superb 90 that helped them to a first-innings lead of 64 against Kent at Canterbury.

Replying to the hosts' 225, Di Venuto and Ben Harmison put on 92 for the first wicket before Will Smith and Di Venuto shared a partnership of 49.

Smith eventually fell to Ryan McLaren for 81 but Gareth Breese continued his fine form of late with an unbeaten 46.

Breese and Phil Mustard saw their side to 289-6 by the close of place.

Although Kent have gained two crucial bowling points so far, they face an uphill battle if they are to gain maximum points, win the match and give themselves a chance of avoiding relegation to the second division for the first time.

Australian left hander Di Venuto was in superb form and, alongside Harmison, took advantage of some poor bowling from the Kent attack early on.

The pair were, however, spared by some lacklustre Kent fielding - Harmison was dropped at second slip by Martin van Jaarsveld when on nine and then Di Venuto was missed at mid-on off an attempted drive when on 39.

Di Venuto completed his 50 with a delightful cover drive, but saw Harmison fall soon after to a breathtaking catch by Darren Stevens off James Tredwell.

The introduction of Martin Saggers brought about the dismissal of Di Venuto, caught behind off a loose drive and moments later he picked up the wicket of skipper Dale Benkenstein, who played on attempting a drive.

Smith went to his half century before Robbie Joseph snapped up the prized wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 20, trapping the Guyanan leg before wicket.

Just before the close, nightwatchman Mark Davies was clean bowled by McLaren for a duck.

Kent had resumed the day on 190-9 with last pair of Tredwell and Martin Saggers at the crease.

They managed to steer their side past 200, which secured a bonus point, before Callum Thorp dismissed Tredwell for 38.

see also
County finale photos - day two
25 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Hampshire dent Notts title hopes
25 Sep 08 |  Counties
Defiant Lancs frustrate Somerset
25 Sep 08 |  Counties
Harmison gives Durham good start
24 Sep 08 |  Counties

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