Spinners star in low-scoring game
Kent 144 beat Durham 113 by 31 runs
Durham's Neil Killeen was denied victory in his final match before retirement as Kent defended a modest total of 144 to win their Clydesdale Bank 40 match at Chester-le-Street. Killeen, bowing out after 16 years, took 3 for 24 as the visitors were bowled out in the final over of the first innings but their bowlers ensured they had plenty as they secured a 31-run win.
While Killeen was ending his career, Kent fielded two debutants in Paul Muchall and Adam Ball. Muchall had the pleasure of removing his brother, Gordon, in a four-over spell of 1 for 34, while 17-year-old Ball bowled Phil Mustard with his fifth ball and should have had another wicket in his second over. Geraint Jones, diving to his right, was unable to hang on to an inside edge by left-hander Ben Harmison, who went on to score 34.
The only batsman to improve on that in a low-scoring affair was Joe Denly, who made 71 in Kent's total of 144. With neither side able to qualify for the semi-finals, Durham brought in 34-year-old Killeen for only his third one-day game this year.
Kent, meanwhile, rested Simon Cook, Matt Coles and Azhar Mahmood ahead of their crucial championship relegation battle at home to Hampshire on Tuesday. Robert Key chose to bat and seemed to be already on the way home when he went down the pitch in the second over and was bowled by Chris Rushworth.
Jones did likewise and edged to the wicketkeeper, and when Martin van Jaarsveld edged a good ball from Mitch Claydon to second slip the trio of top-order batsmen had mustered one run between them.
Denly proved that batting was not as difficult as the scores suggested as he made 28 of the first 30 runs off the bat before throttling back in an attempt to make sure Kent batted through their overs. They were all out with five balls unused and the second highest scorer was Muchall with 22. He was run out in the 38th over when Malinga Bandara declined to respond to his call for a run to short fine leg.
Muchall senior drove his brother to the cover boundary, but then chased a wider ball and sliced a catch to third man to begin Durham's slide. They had no answer to the spin of James Tredwell, who took 4 for 20, and Bandara, who had 2 for 23.