THERE was drama and celebrations at Emirates Riverside yesterday, but for the second time this season Kent hung on for a draw against Durham with nine wickets down.

It was set for a fairytale finish when Graham Onions took the eighth wicket to break the record of 518 first-class wickets for the county, held by Simon Brown since 2002.

But Durham were defied by Sam Billings, who had been laid low by a migraine for two days but emerged to survive for 28 overs and make an unbeaten 70 as they closed on 184 for nine.

James Weighell's third wicket came with 11 balls remaining and left ex-Durham player Mitch Claydon to defy his old team-mates, just as he did at Canterbury.

Durham were not helped by Mark Wood's comeback from a bruised heel being cut short when he retired because of soreness in the same area.

They were also left to rue delaying their declaration to set an impossible target of 371 in 56 overs, with coach Jon Lewis explaining: “We played a lot of good cricket in the match and we're on a good unbeaten run, so we didn't want to give them a chance.

“When you have a side nine down questions are always asked about the declaration, but the outstanding first spells by Onions and Rushworth probably worked against us.

“We were hoping Kent would feel under pressure to go for it, but it knocked the stuffing out of them.”

With the equivalent of four sessions lost to the weather on days one and three, the final day proved as eventful as the second.

Tom Latham completed his second century in three games, Paul Collingwood passed 1,000 championship runs, and Kent lost both openers without a run on the board.

The stillborn start, however, killed any prospect of them pursuing the daunting target.

Durham led by 308 at lunch, but batted on for 7.3 overs to add 62 before declaring on 359 for seven.

There was much jubilation when Sean Dickson edged the first ball of the second over to Michael Richardson, taking Onions level with Brown.

In the next over Daniel Bell-Drummond went the same way against Chris Rushworth, but Kent skipper Sam Northeast emerged to dominate even more than in making 110 out of 206 in the first innings.

On ten he edged Rushworth past Collingwood's left ear at first slip. At 41 the reflexes may not be what they were.

Kent were 73 for four when Northeast completed a 69-ball half-century and shortly afterwards Darren Stevens became Weighell's second victim, bringing in Billings with 28 overs left.

He was out first ball in the first innings when trying to defy his migraine and he was within a whisker of getting a touch on the first ball this time. But he presented Durham with a headache for which they could find no cure.

In the morning only nine runs were added in the day's first five overs, but 37 came off the next five as Latham and Graham Clark accelerated impressively.

Clark fell for 86, skying an attempted pull off Claydon to end a stand of 180 and bring in Collingwood, who got off the mark by driving left-arm spinner Imran Qayyum over long-off for six.

On 20 he lifted the same bowler to the mid-wicket boundary to become the second division two batsman to 1,000, narrowly beaten by Worcestershire's Daryl Mitchell on his way to a match-winning 133 not out against Nottinghamshire.

Latham was becalmed in the 90s, tied down by Claydon before a back-foot four through the covers off the ex-Durham seamer gave him his 13th four and took him to his hundred off 221 balls.

Collingwood was bowled for 35 when he went down the pitch to Qayyum and in the post-lunch thrash Latham departed for 119 when he was caught one-handed above his head by the 6ft 6in Zak Crawley at extra cover.

Crawley later fell for a duck, edging Wood to Richardson off the second ball after tea, but hopes that the paceman could finish the job were dashed when he departed shortly afterwards.