Brendan Nash's best one-day performance for Kent proved decisive as the Spitfires got their Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign up and running with a frantic one-run victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
The former West Indies batsman's unbeaten 98 lifted his side to 239-9 and a fluctuating contest seemed to be going Kent's way until Jeetan Patel almost pulled off a rescue act for Warwickshire.
Last year's beaten finalists had slumped to 185-8 in reply, but with 55 wanted from six overs, the New Zealander set about the bowlers with two sixes and six fours in a whirlwind 27-ball innings.
It eventually came down to the last ball and two runs needed off it, but Patel's heroics in making 50, his best one-day score, came to nothing when we was run out by Adam Ball.
Earlier Kent were well in charge when the spin bowling of James Tredwell and his 21-year-old partner Adam Riley knocked Warwickshire off course.
Riley dismissed William Porterfield lbw for 47, and Tredwell captured the prized wicket when Varun Chopra was well caught at mid-off after making 67 in his build-up for England Lions duty later in the week.
While Chopra played a measured innings, it was a mixed day for Warwickshire's other England candidates, either those in the Test team or others pushing for selection.
Ian Bell looked in imperious form in making 35, driving successive sixes off Mark Davies over long-on, but failed to clear mid-wicket off Matt Coles, and Jonathan Trott made only three before nicking a catch off Davies.
This came on top of a testing time for Chris Woakes and Chris Wright. The new-ball bowlers, who will be with Chopra in the Lions squad to meet New Zealand at Grace Road on Thursday, conceded 101 runs between them, although Woakes did pick up a couple of wickets.
Kent may have promised more than they delivered after losing the toss. Rob Key made a brisk start with 44 until pulling off-spinner Patel to mid-wicket, and as much as Nash kept the board ticking over, the left hander hit only seven boundaries from 106 deliveries.
Others attempted to be more destructive, notably Ball with five fours in a rapid 28 and Coles with successive sixes off Woakes in reaching 20 from 11 balls.
That Kent were unable kick on in the middle overs of their innings was mostly due to Darren Maddy on his first appearance of the season.
The former Leicestershire all-rounder, 39 later in May, took two wickets in five balls and held three catches, the first of these removing Key after a stand of 85 with Nash.