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Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Friday, 26 September 2008 19:51 UK

Durham poised as Kent face drop

Canterbury (day three, close): Kent 225 & 159-5 v Durham 500-8d
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

Geraint Jones departs
Callum Thorpe destroyed the Kent top order with a superb five-wicket haul

Title and relegation issues are set to be decided at Canterbury, as Kent ended the penultimate day on 159-5 needing a further 116 to avoid an innings defeat.

Victory for Durham would give them their first Division One title, while defeat would relegate Rob Key's Kent.

Gareth Breese fired 13 fours and a six in 121 not out as Durham sealed maximum batting points and declared on 500-8.

Beginning 275 behind, Kent were 58-5 as Callum Thorp took five wickets, but an unbroken stand of 101 gave them hope.

The Kent contingent were soon casting an anxious glance towards events at Hove.

Sussex and Yorkshire both collected bonus points to edge above Kent in the table, and having begun the final round of matches in sixth place, the hosts were plunged into the final relegation place.

Kent used eight bowlers in the morning but they all struggled to make an impression on not out Durham batsmen Breese and Phil Mustard.

Mustard was particularly severe on off-spinner James Tredwell, who was blasted for three successive fours through mid-wicket.

The partnership had reached 148, a seventh-wicket Durham record against Kent, before Mustard departed for 83.

Breese added 58 in 12 overs with Paul Wiseman, who was caught at deep mid-wicket off Robbie Joseph, the Kent paceman later conceding 25 in the final over of the innings.

Thorp then induced a leading edge with his first delivery as Key was caught at mid-off, and Joe Denly drove a low return catch to the seamer.

In successive overs after tea, Thorp trapped Geraint Jones and had Darren Stevens caught at first slip with one that lifted and moved away.

It looked a desperate situation for the home side, but South Africans Justin Kemp and Ryan McLaren launched a battling partnership to take their side to stumps with five wickets still intact.

One note of caution for Durham concerned England paceman Steve Harmison, who was hit on the left forearm fielding in the gully.

He bowled with a bandage on the injury but left the field during the final session.

see also
Stubborn Pothas frustrates Notts
26 Sep 08 |  Counties
Fluent Lancashire deny Somerset
26 Sep 08 |  Counties
Durham buoyed by Di Venuto knock
25 Sep 08 |  Counties
Harmison gives Durham good start
24 Sep 08 |  Counties

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