Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens once again played a starring role for his county by reaching three figures on day one against Essex in Division Two of the LV= County Championship.
The 38-year-old right-hander posted 105, his 29th first-class century, as the home side racked up 344-7 against their home counties rivals at Canterbury.
New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder claimed five wickets for the injury-ravaged Eagles, but Stevens kept Kent on top after a century stand between Daniel Bell-Drummond (56) and Brendan Nash, who made 82.
Highly-rated opener Bell-Drummond had laid an early platform with a gritty half-century, but captain Rob Key (10) and Sam Northeast (2) both fell cheaply to Ryder.
Stevens took the attack to Essex, his 105 coming off just 99 balls, including 15 boundaries and three sixes.
The left-handed Nash also made his runs at a healthy rate, finding the rope on 12 occasions before edging Tymal Mills behind to James Foster.
Kent, with Mitchell Claydon 20 not out and Adam Riley 4no at the crease, will now have their sights set on maximum batting points with 56 further runs required with three wickets in hand.