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Durham v Kent: day two report

Justin Kemp scored a hundred from 56 balls
Justin Kemp scored a hundred from 56 balls

KENT 301 for seven – lead by 253 runs

KENT’S Justin Kemp hammered the quickest championship hundred of the season to date and batted his side into a position of strength at the mid-way point of their Liverpool Victoria Championship clash with Durham.

On a rapidly deteriorating pitch in Stockton-on-Tees, Kemp teamed up with sixth-wicket partner Darren Stevens to turn the game on its head having come together with the visitors deep in trouble on 101 for five in their second innings – a slender overall lead of 53.

Come the close, Durham’s injury-hit attack trooped off looking somewhat shell-shocked having witnessed a 56-ball Kemp hundred and a season’s best 70 from Stevens off 60 balls that left Kent in command.

The pair took a particular liking to debutant leg-spinner Moneeb Iqbal whose three overs went for 33 runs as Stevens raced to 50 from 40 balls and Kemp to the same milestone in only 30.

The partnership added 174 in 18 overs but the fun ended when Stevens miscued an attempted pull high to mid-off against Ottis Gibson.

Having scored 88 in boundaries in reaching his second century of the summer, Kemp continued unabashed in tandem with country-man Andrew Hall to reach 118 before he too holed out to long off to give Gibson his fifth wicket.

Hall was still there at stumps with Niall O’Brien ensuring Kent have power to add going into the third day of the game.

Kent’s fight back had started when left-handed James Tredwell, promoted to bat at No.5 after Rob Key and Martin van Jaarsveld got out to spiteful lifting deliveries from Ottis Gibson, came together to bash 47 from 44 balls with eight fours.

He eventually holed out in the deep to spinner Gareth Breese, but had successfully hit Gibson off his line and temporarily out of the attack while adding 83 for the fourth wicket in 11 overs with David Fulton.

The former skipper chipped in with a useful 29 before he too holed out to long leg, bringing together Kemp and Stevens for their spirited sixth wicket stand that added 100 within 11 overs and helped turn the tide Kent’s way.

Explaining his theory behind switching the batting order around, skipper Key said: "I decided to promote 'Tredders' as soon as I got out because, as a batter, if you just try and hang around on this pitch you’ll eventually get an unplayable ball and get out.

"I felt we were best off taking a bit of a punt, which isn’t the way four-day cricket should really be played.

"I thought with all our right-handers marching out there it was only a matter of time before they got an unplayable delivery and if we kept going that way we’d be five down in no time.

"So I sent in 'Tredders', a left-hander, to take some initiative in the game, rather than merely hanging around, waiting for good balls and getting out."

As if to confirm Key's opinion of the pitch, ECB pitch inspector David Hughes confirmed he would be convening a pitch panel on day three comprising of ECB head of operations for first-class cricket Alan Fordham and the board's pitches consultant Chris Wood.

The dramatic end to the day was all a far cry from the first two sessions of the day when Kent kept it tight in the field, attempted to bowl straight and let the unreliable bounce do the work for them.

It was left to Stevens to bowl almost 28 overs of his swinging medium-pacers to pick up four for 71 while Amjad Khan extracted some extra bounce to finish with three for 70 as Durham succumbed for 227 and an overall first innings lead of 48.

Kemp claimed two for 33, including the wicket of top-scorer Gordon Muchall (61) who was the only man to get past 50.

Kent lost Key (4), van Jaarsveld (2) and Matthew Walker (6) before even making good the deficit, but Durham’s hopes of wrapping up a comfortable win were soon battered out of their hands by Tredwell, then Kemp and Stevens.

Having failed in a run chase of 160 against Warwickshire last week, Durham will hardly fancy their chances of making a successful fist of it here – particularly on this pitch.


Kent first inning

R W T Key b Lewis 0
D P Fulton c Mustard b Benkenstein 27
M van Jaarsveld lbw b Gibson 59
M J Walker c Maher b Gibson 2
D I Stevens c Gibson b Benkenstein 1
J M Kemp lbw b Gibson 0
A J Hall not out 0
N J O’Brien c & b Benkenstein 0
J C Tredwell c Mustard b Onions 16
M M Patel not out 0

Extras 27

Total 179 all out after 61.2 overs

Fall of wicket: 1-11, 2-82, 3-109, 4-112, 5-112, 6-112, 7-114, 8-161, 9-171.

Bowling: Lewis 6-2-24-1, Onions 10.2-3-43-3, Gibson 16-7-25-3, Benkenstein 20-10-52-3, Breese 7-1-18-0, Iqbal 2-0-11-0.

Durham first innings

J J B Lewis b Khan 4
J P Maher c Stevens b Kemp 27
G J Muchall c Hall b Kemp 61
G M Scott c O’Brien b Stevens 21
D M Benkenstein lbw b Stevens 12
G R Breese c O’Brien b Khan 15
P Mustard not out 41
O D Gibson c Kemp b Khan 4
G Onions c Kemp b Stevens 8
M M Iqbal lbw b Hall 0
M L Lewis c & b Stevens 14

Extras 20

Total 227 all out after 81.4 overs

Fall of wicket: 1-4, 2-56, 3-110, 4-135, 5-148, 6-178, 7-190, 8-207, 9-210

Bowling: Khan 23-3-70-3, Hall 18-5-39-1, Stevens 27.4-4-71-4, Kemp 12-3-33-2, Patel 1-0-4-0.

Kent second innings

R W T Key c Mustard b Gibson 4
D P Fulton c Gibson b Onions 29
M van Jaarsveld c Mustard b Gibson 2
M J Walker c sub (Thorp) b Gibson 6
J C Tredwell c Iqbal b Breese 47
D I Stevens c Benkenstein b Gibson 70
J M Kemp c sub (Thorp) b Gibson 118
A J Hall not out 13
N J O’Brien not out 0

Extras 12

Total 301 for seven after 47 overs

Fall of wicket: 1-4, 2-10, 3-24, 4-97, 5-101, 6-275, 7-290,

Bowling: Onions 13-2-69-1, Gibson 18-1-97-5, Breese 7-1-31-1, Benkenstein 4-0-39-0, Iqbal 3-0-33-0, Muchall 2-0-22-0.

Bonus points: Durham 4pts, Kent 3pts.

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