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  • Specsavers County Championship 5m

    Worcs end Kent's unbeaten run to go second

    Worcestershire chase down 399 to triumph over Kent in memorable Div Two promotion place battle

    Worcestershire's collected victory in their race for promotion, while Durham triumphed for the first time this season in the County Championship.

    Worcestershire 336 & 401/6 beat Kent 260 & 474 by 4 wickets
    Durham 402 & 158/1 beat Glamorgan 295 & 263 by 9 wickets

    Worcestershire v Kent

    Daryl Mitchell and Joe Clarke powered Worcestershire to the victory that lifts them into the Specsavers County Championship Division Two promotion places as they overcame Kent by four wickets at New Road.

    Mitchell scored his fourth century in the last five Championship matches as Worcestershire galloped to their 399 target and achieved the third highest most successful chase in their history with 19.1 overs to spare.

    The former captain is enjoying a purple patch as he followed his 120 against Derbyshire, 161 versus Northamptonshire and 121 off the Sussex attack with another superb contribution. Mitchell employed the cut shot to deadly effect and was seldom troubled in helping Worcestershire to chalk up their fifth win in seven Championship games this season.

    He was given excellent support by Moeen Ali and then Clarke who in this game has recaptured his form with a vengeance in scoring two centuries in a Championship match for the first time in his blossoming career. 

    The game was another excellent advert for Championship cricket and see-sawed both ways before Mitchell and Co tipped the balance in Worcestershire's favour after largely negating the threat of Pakistan wrist spinner Yasir Shah.

    It was Shah who finally sent Mitchell on his way for 142 from 243 balls with 20 boundaries after a stand of 175 in 38.2 overs with Clarke. He departed to a standing ovation all around New Road after another invaluable knock and then Clarke ensured victory with 110 not out.

    Worcestershire resumed on 16/0 and openers Brett D'Oliveira and Mitchell extended their partnership to 52 before the former on 27 was bowled by a fine delivery from Darren Stevens which nipped back. The occasional ball misbehaved off a length from the Diglish End but Mitchell and Moeen Ali were able to score freely during a stand of 112 in 22 overs. 

    An under-hit pull had led to Moeen's downfall in the first innings but he profited from the stroke in reaching his half century off 47 balls. The pair looked so much in control that it was a surprise when Moeen (63) aimed to work Shah on the leg side and was lbw to the last ball before lunch.

    Clarke then joined forces with Mitchell and maintained the required tempo throughout the afternoon session. The England Lions player had gone into this game without a Championship half-century to his name this season but all his rich promise and potential returned with a vengeance.

    After Mitchell's departure, there was a slight concern for the home side as Shah struck twice more in dismissing George Rhodes (2) and Ben Cox (2).

    But Clarke kept his nerve, passing three figures off 115 balls with 14 fours and a six, and some typical aggressive shots from Ross Whiteley - including two sixes - effectively sealed the win before he became Shah's fifth victim with two runs needed.

    Afterwards, Durham director of cricket Steve Rhodes spoke of his delight: "A great game and obviously delighted to win.

    "I think we should pay tribute to Joe Denly's knock as well. It was a fantastic knock. He was very difficult to bowl at, he was very solid. We needed two guys to get centuries and we got that."

    Durham v Glamorgan

    Durham coasted to their first Specsavers County Championship win of the season when they made light work of reaching a target of 157 in 43 overs against Glamorgan at Chester-le-Street.

    After making only one half-century in his 13 previous Championship innings, South African Stephen Cook led the way to the nine-wicket win with an unbeaten 89 from 78 balls in his final appearance.

    Cameron Steel also went for his shots from the outset and survived three difficult chances in making 51 off 58 balls as Durham got home with 18.3 overs to spare.

    Cook worked the ball into leg-side spaces before cutting Marchant de Lange to the rope as he scored 34 off the 54 which came off the first ten overs.

    With their seamers making no impression, Glamorgan turned to Andrew Salter's off spin and Cook drove him wide of mid-off for his sixth four to reach 50 off 49 balls. Two similar strokes for his eighth and ninth fours brought the winning runs.

    Only 28 were needed when Salter persuaded Steel to chip a catch to deep mid-off, allowing Jack Burnham to assist in completing the task with an unbeaten 14.

    After resuming on 92 for two, Glamorgan were dismissed for 263 in their second innings, with Colin Ingram left unbeaten on 70, made off 137 balls with seven fours and a pulled six.

    Barry McCarthy finished with four for 65 after briefly coming under fire from nightwatchman Lukas Carey.

    After conceding 16 runs in 11 overs, McCarthy went for 26 in two, which included a six over long-on.

    But when he needed one for his second half-century in successive games, Carey got carried away and had his stumps splattered when he swung round an in-swinger from Chris Rushworth.

    Three wickets had gone down for five runs in three overs when McCarthy pinned Aneurin Donald lbw with a shooter and had David Lloyd well caught at second slip by Ryan Pringle off an edged drive.

    Ingram survived a difficult chance to Steel at cover off McCarthy, but was otherwise untroubled and was kept company for 16 overs after lunch by Tom Cullen on his championship debut.

    But after making 13 he shouldered arms and lost his off stump to a Rushworth in-swinger in the sixth over of the new ball.

    Marchant de Lange threatened to take it away from Durham in a ninth-wicket stand of 40 in six overs. But Rushworth clung on to a return catch from a fierce drive then three overs later Michael Hogan played across the line and was bowled off his pads by McCarthy.

    A vital win for Durham, which they'll be hoping to follow up next week when they face Worcestershire in a day-night match at Chester-le-Street.

    Speaking at the close of play, Barry McCarthy said: “We had a different mentality to Glamorgan. There was quite a bit in the pitch, but our batsmen went out and played attacking cricket.

    “Lukas Carey got after me after I had a word with him, which backfired on me. But it's good to get involved in a bit of confrontation. It got me going a bit and I always felt a few more wickets were just around the corner.”

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