Jones ton gives Kent the edge
Somerset 380 and 138 for 3 Kent 372
A career-best 178 by former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones coupled with three last-session wickets for James Tredwell saw Kent take the initiative on day three against County Championship title hopefuls Somerset.
Kent were indebted to Jones for his five-and-a-half-hour stay during which he added another 114 runs to his overnight total as the hosts finished 372 all out.
Somerset's second innings got off to a stuttering start and they were on 138 for 3 at stumps, an overall lead of 146.
After resuming on their overnight position of 175 for 3, Kent lost Martin van Jaarsveld (71) in just the second over of the day when he played across the line to Ben Phillips to depart lbw. Darren Stevens' 33 came to a spectacular end when Peter Trego went full-length to his left to take a reflex return catch, then Tredwell nicked a bat-pad catch to short leg to become the first of Murali Kartik's 2 for 50 return.
Five runs later Azhar Mahmood fell for a duck, leg before to a Charl Willoughby inswinger, before Malinga Bandara hung out the bat and clipped to Trego in the gully to present Phillips with another scalp on his way to 5 for 72 - his best championship return since 1997.
At 260 for 8 Kent were in real danger of missing out on a third batting bonus point, but thanks to Jones they cut the Somerset lead to only eight by the time their last wicket fell and took their batting points tally to four.
Right-hander Jones intelligently farmed the strike during a ninth-wicket stand with Amjad Khan that added 90 in 13.5 overs, with Khan contributing just 11. After Jones had manoeuvred his side past 300, he unfurled an array of shots that saw him kick on from his second century of the summer and through the 150 barrier in a further 45 deliveries.
Jones lost Khan with the score on 350 when he fell leg before to a full-length ball from Kartik, but he nevertheless went on to better his previous career-best total of 156, achieved against Surrey last year. By the time he went lbw, hit on the boot by an Alfonso Thomas yorker, Jones had chalked up 24 fours and three sixes in taking Kent through to 372.
Batting again by 2.45pm, Somerset looked sound until tea but then lost three wickets in the closing session to England's understudy offspinner Tredwell. First-innings centurion Arul Suppiah missed an attempted pull to go leg before for 28, Zander de Bruyn (14) reverse-swept straight to the man at backward point, and Jos Butler suffered a second-ball duck when he rashly swept high to square leg.
Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick, with an unbeaten 61, and James Hildreth (27 not out) brought some stability to proceedings to take their side into the final day without further drama.