DURHAM were held to a draw by Kent's tenth-wicket pair of Yasir Shah and Mitch Claydon who resisted for the final 46 balls of the match in Canterbury.

Shah, on his home debut, batted for an hour and 21 minutes while last man Claydon - a former Durham player - joined him to deny Paul Collingwood's side their first win.

Required to bat all day to maintain their unbeaten status in Division Two, Kent lost three wickets in each of the opening two sessions to leave the door ajar for a Durham victory.

But Kent fought their way to stumps on day four on 343 for nine, 141 short of the winning line but achieving their ambition of avoiding a loss.

The hosts began the day on 35 without loss and their first blow came from the 20th delivery of the morning. In aiming an expansive drive against Barry McCarthy, opener Daniel Bell-Drummond only succeeded in dragging the ball onto his middle stump to slope off with only 17 to his name.

After helping to add 76 in 17.5 overs for the second wicket, Joe Denly departed for 45 to the deserving Gavin Main. Denly had scored his ninth boundary by edging Main through the cordon to the ropes at third man but, without addition, he pushed at one with an open bat face only to steer the ball into the hands of Collingwood at slip.

Durham bagged their third wicket of the session with 117 on the board when Sean Dickson, on 46, drove a firm return chance to the bowler Keaton Jennings who accepted the catch with glee.

After lunch, captain Sam Northeast and Joe Weatherley dug in for 26.3 overs in adding 63 for the fourth wicket before Weatherley, the Hampshire loanee, departed for his fourth successive championship score in the thirties. Defending on the back foot, the 20-year-old was undone by low bounce as one from Gavin Main kept low to pluck out his off stump.

Darren Stevens came in to scratch around for 16 minutes without getting off the mark before he pushed at a Ryan Pringle delivery to be caught behind by Stuart Poynter stood up to the stumps.

Poynter was celebrating 10 runs later when Chris Rushworth's reintroduction at the Nackington Road End accounted for Will Gidman for the second time in the match. The Durham bowler, attacking from around the wicket, ran one away from the left-hander who feathered though to the keeper to go for three.

Early in the final session and fresh from his unbeaten century in the first innings, Northeast emulated his Durham counterpart Collingwood by notching a second-innings half-century.

Collingwood's bowling changes continued to work wonders and the fourth wicket in succession fell in the first over of a new stint. At 4.30pm Collingwood claimed the second new ball, tossed it to his attack leader Chris Rushworth and was rewarded with the wicket of Adam Rouse with the second delivery.

Playing back in defence, Rouse was adjudged lbw for 23 by umpire Steve Garratt although it appeared the Durham cordon had initially appealed for a catch at the wicket.

Rushworth landed another hammer blow by ending Northeast's 229-minute vigil for 72. The Kent skipper, who hit an unbeaten 109 in the first innings, missed out when aiming to leg and Garratt again raised the finger, much to Northeast's obvious displeasure.

Matt Coles, not known for his stoical batting, then joined forces with debutant Yasir Shah to take Kent into the last hour on 271 for eight. The ninth-wicket pair won their first battle in seeing off Rushworth who, after giving his all for 25 overs in a spell of three for 62, hobbled off for treatment to a stiff back.

Shah, working on the 'attack is the best form of defence' principle, unfurled a series of wristy flicks, cuts and drives to hit the ropes on five occasions before his partner Coles departed with under eight overs remaining.

Poking in defence at a shooting delivery, the left-hander went for lbw for 30 to give Matthew Potts, the 18-year-old Durham academy graduate, a maiden championship wicket on his first-team debut.

Durham looked for one final breakthrough, and it came down to a final over from Potts who bowled the last delivery of the match to Shah with six slips, two gully fielders and a short leg. The Pakistan all-rounder denied his fellow debutant, however, and the cheers were Kentish as the hosts maintained their push for promotion. Kent banked eight points to Durham's 12.