Wickets tumble in Championship game
Wickets tumble in Championship game

Kent skipper Sam Northeast scored more than half his side’s runs before he was last out for 110 in the Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

All out for 206, with Graham Onions taking six for 62, Kent trailed by 11 and in 22 overs Durham reached 57 for two in their second innings.

They were also indebted to the all-round efforts of Mark Wood on his comeback from the heel injury which had sidelined him since the second Test against South Africa in mid-July.

His career-best 72 not out rescued Durham from 77 for seven in the morning and he followed up with three for 48.

He shared an eighth-wicket stand of 106 with James Weighell, who made 55 before Mitch Claydon took the last three wickets to finish with five for 54 on his old stamping ground.

In recording his best figures for two years, Onions was on the mark from the outset, pinning Sean Dickson lbw then beating Joe Denly’s forward defensive push to take out the off stump.

The fact that 18 wickets fell in the day made Northeast’s effort all the more remarkable. He went in at 14 for two and got off the mark with an edged four when trying to withdraw his bat. But at tea he had propelled his team to 134 for three from 26 overs.

He sped to 50 off 45 balls with ten fours, despite losing Daniel Bell-Drummond, who grafted hard for his 26, only to surrender when he tried to pull Wood and lobbed a catch to mid-on.

Starting with the second ball after tea, Kent lost five wickets for 13 runs. Zak Crawley was lbw to one from Wood which looked a little high and three balls later Darren Stevens hung out his bat and edged behind.

Left-hander Calum Haggett pushed limply down the wrong line to have off and middle rattled by Onions and the surrender continued as Adam Milne edged a lavish drive.

Sam Billings, suffering from a migraine, went in at 147 for seven and departed first ball, having his leg bail trimmed when aiming for mid-wicket.

Claydon clubbed three fours in contributing 16 to a stand of 28 before driving to deep mid-off to give Onions his sixth wicket.

On 81 when last man Imran Qayyum joined him, Northeast farmed the strike and cut Wood over backward point for six on the way to his 102-ball century, which included 17 fours.

He finally fell when he edged a forcing back-foot shot off Weighell to give wicketkeeper Michael Richardson his third catch.

With Billings resting, Kent emerged with Bell-Drummond behind the stumps and he held the catch off Haggett which removed the struggling Keaton Jennings for 13.

Haggett also brought one back a long way to bowl Cameron Steel, shouldering arms, for nought.

After his five-wicket haul back on his old ground, Kent’s Mitch Claydon said: “It’s the first time I’ve been back and I got the best reception I’ve had anywhere at an away game.

“I’ve had a frustrating year after a good start. I had to go back to Australia for a while and since then I haven’t had the rewards I felt my bowling deserved, so it’s great to get a five-for.

“I’ve seen Sam Northeast score a few hundreds, but that was definitely one of the best. On a day when 18 wickets fell he made it look easy against one of the best attacks around. He batted beautifully and played really well with the tail.”

Commenting on Sam Billings’ migraine, Claydon added: “He’s only had one before, so hopefully after a good night’s sleep he’ll be fine.”

Durham’s Mark Wood said: “Being injured gives me more chance to work on my batting and my stand with James Weighell was key.

“Adam Milne is in an international class bowler but blocking wasn’t going to work. I decided if it was in an area where I could score I would go full-blooded at it.

“After six weeks out my rhythm and timing weren’t quite there, so I was not at my quickest. I was told I wasn’t going to be in the England one-day squad and had to get some overs in my legs. In three games for Durham hopefully everything will click into place.”