The change of captain that followed Durham's innings defeat against Nottinghamshire last week brought an immediate pay-off yesterday as the champions sealed a second win of the season in Phil Mustard's first match in charge.
Durham condemned Kent to a third First Division defeat in Canterbury, cruising to a six-wicket win by 12.17pm after resuming their second innings on 67 for 3, needing 102 more. Ben Stokes, Durham's 18-year-old batting sensation, saw them over the line with an extraordinary succession of boundaries, smashing five fours and a six to take 26 runs in a single over of leg spin from Joe Denly.
Stokes's unbeaten 42 off 22 balls followed his brilliant unbeaten 161 in the first innings, a week after making his maiden first-class century against Nottinghamshire. Ian Blackwell finished 53 not out.
Six wickets in the match for Steve Harmison further encouraged Durham's belief that their season may be about to gather pace.
Jonathan Trott extended his overnight 102 to 150 but Warwickshire, bowled out for 113 in the first innings, still lost by 65 runs to Lancashire at Edgbaston.
Neil Carter made his second half-century of the match and dominated a seventh-wicket stand of 102 in 26 overs with Trott. But he was yorked by Sajid Mahmood with a slower ball, after which Jimmy Anderson took his first wickets of the match to bowl Warwickshire out for 375.
Lancashire move into third place in the table behind Yorkshire, who lost for the first time this season after Somerset successfully chased 362 to win by six wickets at Taunton, where James Hildreth cracked the fastest hundred of the season, off only 68 balls, Zander de Bruyn hit 93 and 19-year-old Jos Buttler finished the match off by hitting leg-spinner Adil Rashid for six, four and four.
Glamorgan went top of the Second Division, clinching a third win in a row by beating Gloucestershire by an innings and four runs at Cardiff, where veteran spinner Robert Croft took his career wickets tally to 993. There were wins, too, for Northamptonshire over Sussex and for Worcestershire against Derbyshire.
With the exception of Alastair Cook, none of the England Lions side in action against the Bangladeshis at Derby is likely to figure in the first Test at Lord's next week yet they are on the brink of a comfortable win.
Wicketkeeper Steven Davies scored 80 off 87 balls before the tourists slid to 86 for 6 in their second innings, catches by Davies accounting for all bar one of those wickets. Nine down at the close, Bangladesh are a mere 65 in front.