Nottinghamshire will need to bat well on the final day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Kent at Tunbridge Wells.
A century from Joe Denly and 79 from Daniel Bell-Drummond powered Kent to 277 for three, an overall lead of 319, when bad light stopped play 10 overs early.
Denly remains unbeaten on 111 and has his captain, Heino Kuhn, is with him on 22. The hosts will hope to build on their advantage on the final morning and then try and put Notts under pressure.
Earlier in the day Nottinghamshire’s first innings ended on 267, with Samit Patel out for 52. Matt Milnes, playing against his former county, took 5-68.
A full day of cricket seemed unlikely after heavy overnight rain had saturated most of the south east and much of The Nevill Ground but conditions improved in time for a prompt start.
Batting looked tricky during the first session, with the ball seaming around and the odd spot of rain making things even trickier.
The bowlers also had the use of a ball that was only three overs old overnight and both Milnes and Harry Podmore hooping it around in the early stages.
Samit Patel, 42 not out overnight, progressed to his first 50 of the championship season – getting there from 141 balls with 7 fours.
His batting partner, Steven Mullaney, was quickly into his stride, moving to 13 from 22 balls before becoming Milnes’ third victim.
The pace bowler sent down three testing deliveries in a row. The first scuttled low past the off stump, the next found a nick that sped away to third man for four and then the third knocked back the off peg of the Notts skipper.
Patel was also undone by a ball that kept low and thudded into the pads and two balls later Milnes had his five-fer, with James Pattinson snicking to first slip.
Notts slid from 243-5 to 267 all out as Wiaan Mulder removed Luke Fletcher (3) and Matt Carter (6) to finish with figures of 3-35.
Grant Stewart ensured that all of Kent’s seamers picked up at least one wicket by pinning Tom Moores lbw for 13.
With a first innings deficit of 42, Notts were looking for an early scalp and nearly got it. Pattinson, for the second time in the match, almost struck with the first ball, with Zak Crawley nearly chopping onto his stumps.
It didn’t take the Australian much longer to make his mark, removing Sean Dickson for the second time in the match.
Denly joined Crawley just before lunch and the pair added 75 in 20 overs before Jake Ball parted them in mid-afternoon.
Crawley, the first innings’ centurion, was taken at slip by Ben Duckett, for 37, which included an all-run four.
That dismissal heralded the start of a punishing stand of 152 between Denly and Bell-Drummond.
Throughout they scored at a healthy rate, putting on 100 in their first 20 overs together.
Denly had reached 50 from 82 balls and his first hundred of the summer came from 147.
Bell-Drummond’s wait for a hundred of his own stretches back to April 2016 and he played faultlessly until clipping Pattinson behind in the evening sunshine.
Kent’s acceleration was interrupted shortly after 6pm when the light deteriorated.
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