LV=CC: match preview of Kent’s trip to Durham

Saturday 22nd May 2010

Durham v Kent
LV=County Championship division one
24 – 27 May 2010
Riverside Stadium

After a trip to Scotland on Saturday, Kent“s cricketers resume their four-day campaign on Monday with a tough trip to reigning champions Durham in division one of the LV=County Championship.

After last week“s disappointments against their north east opponents, Kent will be looking revenge as they aim to claim their first championship win of the season in a game that marks the end of Makhaya Ntini“s five-week stint at the club.

The South African legend has breathed new life into the team since his arrival and recorded best Kent figures of five for 84 in last week“s fixture at Canterbury. The pace-bowler, who has taken 390 Test wickets, will be replaced by Sri Lankan all-rounder Malinga Bandara for the forthcoming Friends Provident t20 competition which starts on Friday, 2 June when Kent travel to Chelmsford to take on their old-adversaries, the Essex Eagles.

In front of the Skytelevision cameras last week, Rob Key“s scintillating knock of 261 was somewhat overshadowed by Durham“s 18 year-old batting prodigy Ben Stokes and a poor second-innings collapse. Replying to Kent“s 424, Stokes cracked an unbeaten 161 to compliment Dale Benkenstein“s more patient 114 as Durham finished just six runs behind the home side. Setting a target, Key“s men looked solid at 96 for three before a spinner-induced collapse sparked by Ian Blackwell“s 3-35, saw them slump to 137-9 before finally being dismissed for 162 after a late cameo by Ntini and Amjad Khan.

Martin van Jaarsveld“s 44 was the only real resistance offered as the visitors were set a slender 168 victory target. At one stage they seemed to be struggling at 37-3 but Blackwell (53*) and Benkenstein (49) steadied the chase before Stokes came in to smash a blistering 42 off just 22 balls – including 26 off Joe Denly“s solitary over of leg spin – as Durham took victory by six wickets.

Kent are currently bottom of the table, with 44 points from six games, while Durham sit in fourth spot with 59 points from five – a haul that includes two victories.

Darren Stevens (pictured) and James Tredwell return to four-day action for Kent. Team director Paul Farbrace has named a strong 12-man squad.

Kent: Denly, Key (C), Jones (W), van Jaarsveld, Northeast, Stevens, Blake, Tredwell, Cook, Khan, Ntini, Coles

Picture:Sarah Ansell