Kent on top at Durham
Kent on top at Durham

Four years after leaving Durham, Mitch Claydon returned to haunt his former team-mates as Kent had the better of the 32 overs on day one of the Specsavers County Champsionship match at Chester-le-Street.

The burly Australian celebrated his 100th first-class appearance by taking two wickets as Durham struggled to 61 for four.

Sharp catches by Sean Dickson at second slip gave Claydon both his victims, the first being Keaton Jennings, who had dug in to make 17 from  67 balls.

Kent dispensed with the toss after rain prevented play until 4pm, but under clearing skies they did not find the assistance they might have anticipated until Claydon’s double blow.

Durham had reached 35 for one in the 24th over, but then lost three in five with Paul Collingwood departing for 11 when he edged an excellent ball from Adam Milne to Sam Billings.

With Claydon extracting good bounce, Jennings fell to a back-foot shot and two overs later Cameron Steel’s edge was held at head height by Dickson.

After being out to the first ball of the match against Derbyshire last week and falling for 16 in the second innings, Jennings set out his stall to end his lean run.

But both his fours came off the edge, the first providing the only runs off Milne prior to having fellow Kiwi Tom Latham lbw in his sixth over.

Latham was off the mark first ball with a square-driven boundary off Darren Stevens, but added only four runs before he was out when half forward looking to turn Milne to leg.

Stevens got past the bat a few times in an eight-over spell before making way for Claydon, while Calum Haggett was out of luck when Steel survived a sharp chance on five to Joe Denly at third slip.

Milne returned for a second spell and found some away movement off the pitch. Collingwood, needing 35 at the outset for 1,000 championship runs, edged through gully when aiming to leg the ball before he was out.

Durham brought in Mark Wood and James Weighell for injured duo Paul Coughlin and Matthew Potts.

Graham Clark was recalled at the expense of Jack Burnham and dug in doggedly for the last eight overs to remain unbeaten on six.