Kent 340 & 135-8 Durham 575 (Match abandoned at 73 mins): Onions compensates for the absence of Mustard

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Their coach, Martyn Moxon, said: "When we went into the season it was never our intention just to avoid going down. We will attempt to win every match."

With Kent losing eight wickets second time around on an overcast evening, Durham look like fulfilling their coach's pledge at the first time of asking.

Not even Martin van Jaarsveld, who had hung on stubbornly in the first innings, could keep out the eager Durham bowlers. He fell deep into the final session and with him went any lingering hopes of Kent salvaging something from this mess.

Kent's captain, Robert Key, had received a good ball from the admirable Graham Onions, but David Fulton kicked himself all the way back to the pavilion after pulling a long hop from the same bowler straight to square leg.

Matthew Walker, Darren Stevens and Neil Dexter were all guilty of careless driving, and when Van Jaarsveld drove a ball straight to Dale Benkenstein at short mid-on that was pretty much that. The wicketkeeper, Niall O'Brien, and Simon Cook quickly followed, and only bad light took the match into the final day with Kent still 100 adrift.

Kent's first innings began unravelling an hour or so into the morning session when Walker sashayed down the pitch to Gareth Breese and paid for his ill-advised drive with a stumping by Jimmy Maher, whose alert presence behind the stumps was due to Phil Mustard suffering a dislocated finger during the warm-up.

Three more Kent men followed Walker back to the dressing room over the next eight overs, for the addition of 13 runs. Two, Stevens and Dexter, fell to well-taken catches by Gary Pratt.

Only the South African, Van Jaarsveld, who had reappeared at the fall of Walker's wicket after limping out of the action the previous evening, having reached 37, provided any steel to the innings.

He made a watchful 83 off 203 balls, but once he fell, caught by Breese at slip off Ottis Gibson's bowling, the skids were well and truly under his side.