Kent held off fellow strugglers Sussex to win by nine runs in their Friends Life t20 South Group game at Canterbury.
The visitors' challenge faded when Scott Styris was caught on the deep midwicket boundary from the fourth ball of the final over, having hit the previous two balls for four and six.
New Zealand international big-hitter Styris had the home fans on edge as Mitchell Claydon made a bad start to the task of preventing Sussex from scoring 23 from the final over in reply to Kent's 20-over total of 173-3.
But then Styris, attempting another clubbing legside blow, holed out to Brendan Nash at deep midwicket and.
Despite bowling a wide to new batsman Will Beer from his next ball, Claydon held his nerve to allow just a single and a leg bye from the last two balls of the contest to close out Sussex on 164-6.
Kent were indebted to a late assault by Darren Stevens - who finished on 67 not out - and a far faster start to their innings than Sussex.
Stevens faced only 44 balls in all, striking four sixes and three fours, and took 18 runs from the last six balls of the Kent innings in a merciless attack on Lewis Hatchett.
Kent scored 70-2 from their first six powerplay overs, but Sussex managed only 39 for one from theirs.
Although Matt Machan hit 66 from 48 balls, with two sixes and six fours, and added 68 for the third wicket with Chris Nash, who made 31 from 24 balls, they were always struggling to keep up with the required rate of 108 from the second 10 overs.
It is only Kent's second win of the group stage, but at least they now go above Sussex - who are anchored at the bottom of the South group table with just one win from nine games. Kent still have three matches left.