Durham set up tense chase after day of wickets
Kent 424 and 162 v Durham 418 and 67 for 3
Reigning County Champions Durham need another 102 runs with seven wickets in hand to wrap up their second win of the campaign after a fluctuating third day against fellow strugglers Kent that saw 17 wickets fall.
On a Canterbury pitch showing signs of uneven bounce, Durham lost their last four first-innings wickets for 77 before dismissing Kent for 162 inside 50 overs to leave themselves 18 overs plus the entire final day to score 169 for victory.
In the 90 minutes before close Durham reached 67 for three after 18 overs as Kent did their best to make amends for a dismal second-innings batting performance. Kyle Coetzer fell for one to a Makhaya Ntini off-cutter that moved through the gate to hit middle stump, while Michael di Venuto (10) needlessly pulled an Azhar Mahmood bumper into the hands of Amjad Khan at deep mid-wicket.
Young left-hander Scott Borthwick (14) dragged an attempted pull against Amjad Khan onto his off stump, but experienced duo Ian Blackwell (18) and Dale Benkenstein (24) survived without further alarm to strengthen Durham's hopes of knocking off the required runs.
Kent lost their way in the match by losing six wickets for 114 in the mid-session, having worked hard to muster a first-innings lead of six. Skipper Rob Key (14) drove on the up to short extra-cover to make it 34 for one and, without addition, Joe Denly (20) was unfortunate to be given lbw when pushing outside the line of off stump.
Geraint Jones (17) bottom-edged an attempted cover drive onto the base of off stump against Chris Rushworth, before Sam Northeast was dismissed by a Ian Blackwell arm-ball which hit off stump low down.
Top-scorer Martin van Jaarsveld (44) drove two feet outside off to edge a full ball from Steve Harmison to second slip and, to the last ball before tea, Azhar Mahmood played outside the line of another Blackwell arm ball to go lbw.
Kent's slide gathered momentum when, six balls after the break, Rob Ferley (one) played across the line of a Scott Borthwick leg-spinner to drag onto off stump and Alex Blake (seven) was bowled through the gate by left-arm spinner Blackwell after one turned out of the foot-holds.
Teenager Borthwick picked up a second when he had Simon Cook (five) caught at slip from a ball that grazed the outside edge of the bat and Phil Mustard's right glove before going to first slip before last man Ntini was caught behind off Steve Harmison.
At the start of the day South African Makhaya Ntini had bagged 5 for 84 - his first five-for return for Kent - as Durham were dismissed for 418. Ben Stokes reached a career-best 161 not out but Ntini, bowling down the slope from the Nackington Road End, proved too much of a handful for the Durham tail-enders as Ben Harmison and Mitchell Claydon both edged drives to second slip.
Stokes should have gone to a catch at deep mid-wicket on 131 but Joe Denly was unable to hold on, but was left high and dry when Chris Rush sliced to point and Azhar Mahmood had last man Steve Harmison caught behind.