New-ball duo Matt Henry and Darren Stevens made early in-roads after Kent captain Joe Denly hit his 25th first class century in a club record total at Bristol against Gloucestershire.
Chasing a fourth successive Specsavers County Championship, Stevens, Adam Rouse and Harry Podmore scored half-centuries before Kent declared on 589 for nine.
Resuming on 297-4, the visitors banked four batting bonus points before declaring shortly after tea. Denly’s 107 from 188 balls featured 13 fours in a superb stand of 161 for the fifth wicket with Darren Stevens, who fell 11 runs of his hundred.
The pick of Gloucestershire’s hard-pressed bowlers, Craig Miles (4/122) removed Denly shortly after lunch, but there was no respite for the home side as Adam Rouse (55) and Harry Podmore (53) added 96 for the seventh wicket in 24.5 overs.
Looking to accelerate towards the declaration, the pair succumbed to slow left armer Graeme van Buuren who extracted turn out of the slow surface to return figures of 3/74.
In reply, Gloucestershire’s top order was dispatched by superb opening spells by Darren Stevens who accounted for opener Benny Howell without scoring in his first over before removing the hosts’ skipper Chris Dent for 1 in his third over.
Matt Henry claimed his 38th Championship wicket of the season as Gareth Roderick fenced to Adam Riley at gully for a five-ball duck before Podmore struck as Bracey edged a full ball to Zak Crawley at slip for a patient 12 off 61 ball
Jack Taylor (24*) and Graeme van Buuren (5*) survived until stumps with Kent requiring 14 more wickets with six sessions to play.
Kent skipper Joe Denly said: “That’s the best track we’ve played on so far this season and it was a good day for the batters. It was nice to get some runs myself and the partnership with Darren Stevens was important in helping us post a big total.
“Harry Podmore and Adam Rouse did really well at the end and gave our bowlers the boost they needed.
“With Darren Stevens and Matt Henry playing the way they are, my job is made easy and they bowled nice and straight with the new ball.
“It was good to get them four down, but there is still a lot of hard work to do over the next two days. We are going to have to work extremely hard and stay patient if we are going to get the 16 wickets we need.”