Kent were in danger of losing a seemingly strong grip on events in Canterbury on day two of their action-packed LV= County Championship clash with Derbyshire.
The hosts, having skittled the visitors for 86, went in at lunch on 73-3 for an overall lead of 192, but having lost two wickets in as many overs in the lead up to lunch in the Division Two encounter.
Batting again after securing a first innings lead of 119, Kent lost opening bat Joe Denly in the fifth over when the right-hander played late and across a shooting Tony Palladino off-cutter to depart lbw.
Second-wicket partners Rob Key (18) and Daniel Bell-Drummond (45) added 46 inside 14.2 only for both to depart in the space of 13 balls.
Key played outside the line of a Wayne White off-cutter that plucked out the former England man’s off stump, then Bell-Drummond risked a second run to Tom Taylor at deep square leg but, despite a full-length dive, lost the race to regain his ground.
At the start of the day Kent, in the shape of rookie fast bowler Ivan Thomas, needed only five more overs to mop up Derbyshire’s three remaining first innings wickets.
The 23-year-old right-armer polished the job off during a three-over stint of three for 15, to finish with overall figures of three for 31.
Without addition to his overnight score, Tom Poynton (19) spooned a catch to mid-wicket as he aimed to clip to leg. Tom Taylor (1) steered a lifting leg-cutter to third slip, then Palladino (27) gloved an attempted hook to give Kent’s understudy wicketkeeper, Ryan Davies, his maiden first-class catch behind the stumps.