Durham retain title chance

Last updated: 21st September 2007   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Durham retain title chance

Di Venuto: 23 not out

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LV County Championship - Division One
Canterbury - day three
Kent 212 (R McLaren 54 no) & 160 (P J Wiseman 4-45) v Durham 321 (D M Benkenstein 117, M J Saggers 4-89) & 52-2
Durham (20pts) beat Kent (4pts) by 8 wkts

Durham have a chance of winning the County Championship after chasing down a victory target of 52 to beat Kent by eight wickets in their final game of the season.

The result earns Durham 20 points to give them a final total of 197.5, which could yet be enough for a maiden title if Lancashire and Sussex both fail to win their final fixtures.

Durham's former New Zealand off-spinner Paul Wiseman finished with 4-45 as Kent collapsed from 99-3 to 160 all out on the third morning at Canterbury.

That left Durham chasing just 52 for victory and opening batsman Michael Di Venuto (23no) led them across the line for the loss of two wickets.

Dale Benkenstein's men, who won the FP Trophy earlier in the season, now face an anxious wait to see if they have done enough to collect another piece of silverware.

Day two

Durham kept their title ambitions alive as they moved into a commanding position against Kent at Canterbury.

Dale Benkenstein's century gave them a 109-run lead on first innings before Paul Wiseman picked up three wickets before the close, leaving Kent on 99-3 and still trailing by 10 runs.

Durham skipper Benkenstein made 117 off 181 balls, hitting 13 fours and one six to be the mainstay of his side's innings of 321 all out.

Ottis Gibson contributed 40 runs and number nine Wiseman added 36, while Martin Saggers took four wickets for Kent, including those of Benkenstein and Wiseman.

Wiseman then struck three times with the ball to put Durham in control, removing openers Joe Denly (30) and Robert Key (33) before getting rid of Matthew Walker shortly before bad light brought a premature end to the day's play.

Day one

Durham boosted their hopes of landing the County Championship title to complete a domestic treble by bowling Kent out for 212 on the first day at Canterbury.

Graham Onions, Ottis Gibson and Mark Davies all claimed three wickets as only number nine Ryan McLaren's run-a-ball 54 prevented further humiliation for seventh-placed Kent.

Third-placed Durham - who began the final round of matches eight points behind Lancashire and two behind Sussex - made a poor start in their reply.

They were 92-4 at one stage as Mark Stoneman slipped to a second-ball

duck, though Kyle Coetzer did add 44 and Dale Benkenstein's unbeaten 22 steered them to 126 without further loss at stumps.

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