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Durham make sure of survival

Michael Di Venuto

Michael Di Venuto saw Durham to safety with 52

Durham avoided a relegation play-off in the NatWest Pro40 when they beat Gloucestershire by five wickets at Chester-le-Street.

On a seaming pitch, the Dynamos slipped to 29 for four in pursuit of 119 all out - in the face of some excellent bowling from Steve Kirby.

But Michael Di Venuto saw Durham home with an unbeaten 52, finishing the match with two successive off-side fours off Richard Dawson in the 27th over.

They took his boundary total to seven as the left-hander accelerated towards his 67-ball half-century - but earlier the only batsmen to play with any fluency were Will Porterfield and Dale Benkenstein.

Going in after Hamish Marshall was caught behind off Graham Onions without a run on the board, left-hander Porterfield hit 36 off 44 balls as he put on 63 with Kadeer Ali.

Extra bounce from Steve Harmison found the shoulder of Porterfield's bat for a catch at point - and after choosing to bat, Gloucestershire lost five wickets for 18 runs.

Will Smith swooped from cover to run out Alex Gidman, attempting to get off the mark with a first-ball single. Then Harmison pitched one up to bowl Kadeer for 26, and the England paceman finished with 3-32 after pinning David Brown lbw.

Off-spinner Gareth Breese took three of the last four wickets at a cost of eight runs as the tail folded meekly with 6.1 overs unused.

It looked like being a stroll for Durham as Di Venuto and Phil Mustard took the score to 17, before the wicketkeeper got a bottom edge into his stumps off Jon Lewis.

Then came Kirby's purple patch as he moved one sharply away from Shivnarine Chanderpaul to have him caught behind, then found the inside edge of Smith's and Gordon Muchall's bats.

Smith was caught behind and Muchall played on, before Kirby was rested with figures of 3-19 in five overs.

By the time he returned, Gloucestershire had surrendered the initiative as Benkenstein plundered six fours in scoring 25 before Brown bowled him.

Breese's unbeaten 20 helped Di Venuto complete the task.