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Robbie Joseph in the runs and takes a wicket as Kent beat Durham in 50-over warm-up game at Canterbury

By Alex Hoad

Robbie Joseph made a match-winning return to Kent action as they began the 2014 season with a win.

Robbie Joseph in action for Kent against Durham. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Facing Durham in a 50-over friendly in Canterbury on Monday morning, Joseph was a surprise name in the Kent line-up.

The 32-year-old Antigua-born paceman left the club after the 2011 season following a seven year stay at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, but despite signing a short-term deal at Leicestershire the following season, has not played First Class cricket since August 2012.

Joseph claimed 1-53 from 10 overs as Durham posted a challenging 276-9 in their 50 overs.

There were half-centuries for openers Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard as the LV= County Championship Division 1 Champions reached 132-0 but three wickets apiece from Mitch Claydon (3-43 from 10) and Adam Riley (3-36 off nine) plus 2-42 from Matt Hunn saw the visitors pegged back.

Three Kent players passed fifty in a reply which was briefly interrupted by rain.

Daniel Bell-Drummond opened alongside skipper for the day Sam Northeast and cracked 61 before being run-out, sharing a second-wicket stand of 118 with Fabian Cowdrey, who rattled 68 from 70 balls.

There was an unbeaten half-century for Sam Billings, batting at six, smashing seven fours in a 44-ball 56.

He held firm as 240-4 became 252-7 before being joined in the middle by Joseph, who hit three fours in an unbeaten 16 to see Kent over the line with two overs to spare.

Two t20s against Durham are set to follow on Tuesday while Kent will play a two-day friendly at Essex on Thursday and Friday.

The three-day curtain raiser against Loughborough MCCU begins at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Monday. Entry is free and play starts at 11am.

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