London:Durham won its first English County Championship title on Saturday, 16 years after making its first-class debut, and sent Kent into the second division for the first time.
England's newest county beat Kent by an innings and 71 runs at Canterbury to take the title on the final day of the season.
Durham topped the standings with 190 points _ eight ahead of Nottinghamshire, which was favorite going into the final round of matches, but lost at Hampshire by 203 runs.
"It is an unbelievable achievement," Durham and England fast bowler Steve Harmison said.
Harmison took the last two Kent wickets while wearing a cast on the left wrist which he cracked Friday while fielding.
"It is only 16 years as a first-class county ... Wow," Harmison said. "There are some young lads up there who don't realize what sort of achievement they've just had."
Kent had been the only team to stay permanently in the top flight since two-division cricket was introduced seven years ago.
"There's no question that we ran out of gas," said Graham Ford, Kent's director of cricket. "The disappointments of not quite getting across the line to win the three one-day competitions took its toll too because winning trophies can be quite energizing.
"Had we managed to win one competition, it might have provided the energy boost we needed to go on for the rest of the season."