James Middlebrook made his highest score of the season to help promotion-chasing Northamptonshire end a rain-hit third day against Kent on 183-1.
All-rounder Middlebrook reached stumps on 87 not out tio follow up his career-best bowling figures of 6-78 in Kent's first-innings total of 418.
Home captain Stephen Peters was also in fine form with the bat as he posted a stylish half-century, his fifth of the campign, before falling for 68 off the bowling of Mark Davies.
The pair put on an opening stand of 136 for Northamptonshire, who started the match with a 21-point advantage over nearest rivals Essex in Division Two, either side of a four-and-a-half hour break for rain.
Peters and Middlebrook both reached 50 from 82 balls before the former fell to Mark Davies, Daniel Bell-Drummond taking the catch.
But Middlebrook continued to plough on, hitting 15 boundaries from the 34 balls he faced to eclipse the 84 he scored against Leicestershire back in June.
David Sales (25 not out) helped add 47 as Northamptonshire put themselves in a good position to claim batting bonus points on the final day at Wantage Road.