Heino Kuhn hit his third half-century in three successive matches and Matt Henry claimed three more victims as 14 wickets fell on the first day of an absorbing Specsavers County Championship against Sussex at The Spitfire Ground.
Calum Haggett and Grant Stewart made useful contributions of 31 as Kent earned a batting bonus point before reducing the visitors to 69/4 at stumps on day one.
Bowling first after an uncontested toss, Sussex broke through after only 5.2 overs when opener Daniel Bell-Drummond (13) shouldered arms to an Ollie Robinson off-cutter that uprooted the right-hander’s off stump.
The hosts had 50 on the board when Sean Dickson (10) went back and worked across the line of a rising delivery from David Wiese to be adjudged lbw by umpire Russell Warren.
After Kent reached lunch on 97 for two, second-placed Sussex grabbed wickets thanks to an excellent spell by South African David Wiese, who went in at tea with fine figures of four for 40.
Wiese accounted for both Kent’s third-wicket partners Heino Kuhn and Joe Denly after their handy 75-run stand inside 21 overs.
Denly was caught behind on the hook, while Kuhn, after hitting 11 fours in a fluent 60, pushed inside the line of a leg-cutter to also edge to the Sussex keeper Ben Brown.
Adam Rouse (0) fenced outside off to steer a low catch to Harry Finch at second slip then Zak Crawley (7) gloved a third successive bumper from Ollie Robinson through to the keeper.
Ishant Sharma replaced Wiese at the Nackington Road End and came to the party with two more Kentish wickets. Harry Podmore (6) pushed down the wrong line to have off stump pegged back then Matt Henry (8) chipped one to mid-on before Calum Haggett’s watchful innings steadied the ship.
Haggett was bowled by Robinson before lusty hitting from Stewart claimed a batting bonus point thanks to a huge six off the same bowler in an entertaining career-best 31 before Sharma bowled him to limit Kent to 215.
In reply, both openers fell for 3, caught behind within the opening three overs. Harry Podmore got the breakthrough as Phil Salt departed in the second over of the innings before partner Luke Wells followed in the next over from Matt Henry.
Henry, the bustling New Zealander, bowled with pace and penetration from the Nackington Road, accounting for ex-South Africa international Stiaan van Zyl (bowled for 9) before Harry Finch followed for 5, caught by a sprawling Sean Dickson at slip.
Skippers past and present Luke Wright (28*) and Ben Brown (20*) saw Sussex through to 69-4 at stumps.
Gates open at 10am. Parking available at New Dover Road Park and Ride (CT1 3EJ) for £3.50 per vehicle.
Parking only available at Simon Langton Girls Grammar (CT1 3EW) on days 2-3 (Saturday 12 and Sunday 13) for £10 per vehicle.