A FLUENT half-century by skipper Sam Northeast helped Kent to recover from a fine opening burst by Graham Onions.

Going in at 14 for two, Northeast sped to 50 off 45 balls and was unbeaten on 61 out of 134 for three at tea.

He was off the mark with a four through the slips when trying to withdraw his bat and there were two more edged fours among his ten boundaries. But generally he looked composed and in control as the rest of the Durham bowlers failed to support Onions.

He had Sean Dickson lbw for seven then produced a snorter to defeat Joe Denly's forward defensive push and take out the off stump.

Daniel Bell-Drummond grafted hard for his 26, only to surrender when he tried to pull Mark Wood and lobbed a catch to mid-on.

When James Weighell replaced Onions he conceded 33 in four overs, although he looked unlucky not to have Zak Crawley lbw on five. He survived to reach 26 at tea.