An inspired bowling performance saw Kent reduced to 82 for three in their LV= County Championship Division Two match with Essex at St Lawrence.
Maurice Chambers took two of the wickets, including captain Robert Key for five.
Kent had a lucky escape from further damage when Brendan Nash was dropped by Harbhajan Singh at second slip off the bowling of David Masters, the former Kent seamer, having scored 10 at the time.
Meanwhile, Hampshire led Gloucestershire by 47 runs, with five first innings wickets remaining, in their Division Two clash at the County Ground in Bristol.
- Harbhajan Singh