Kent 184 for 4 (Stevens 56*, Leaning 54*, Robinson 50) lead Worcestershire 133 (Gilchrist 5-38, Milnes 4-35) by 51 runs
Kent lead Worcestershire by 51 runs in their LV= Insurance County Championship match at Canterbury, reaching 184 for 4 at stumps on day one.
Nathan Gilchrist took a career-best 5 for 38 and Matt Milnes 4 for 35 as Worcestershire were all out for 133, Ben Cox their top scorer with 41 not out. Darren Stevens and Jack Leaning were unbeaten on 56 and 52 respectively at the close, after Ollie Robinson hit 50.
Dillon Pennington took 3 for 39, but after reducing Kent to 22 for 3, Worcestershire's bowlers toiled.
The hosts won the toss and chose to bowl in broad sunshine, a decision instantly vindicated as Milnes removed Daryl Mitchell with the fifth ball of the morning, caught by a diving Jordan Cox in the slips for 4.
Milnes then bowled Jake Libby for 2 before he had Tom Fell caught behind for 3 and Brett D'Oliveira lbw for 1. When Gilchrist bowled Jack Haynes for 8 the visitors were reeling on 32 for 5 and although Ed Barnard looked well set, he was caught behind off Stevens for 25.
Joe Leach and Cox steered Worcestershire to 91 for 6 at lunch, during which Milnes became the 220th Kent player to be awarded a county cap.
The visitors made a steady start to the afternoon session only for Gilchrist to take the final four wickets for 14 runs. Leach's off stump was pinged back for 38 and two balls later Josh Baker was bowled for a duck after a hideous leave. Pennington was then lbw for 3 and Adam Finch bowled for 2, giving Gilchrist his first five-wicket haul in red-ball cricket.
Kent's reply started shakily with Pennington removing both openers cheaply, Zak Crawley caught behind for 4 and Jordan Cox caught by Baker for 1. Joe Denly was then lbw to Leach for 9 but Leaning and Robinson put on 75 for the next wicket before the latter was caught behind off Pennington.
Stevens joined Leaning and steered Kent past Worcestershire's first-innings total before reaching his 50 from with a single off Baker. Leaning cut Finch for four to reach his half-century, putting Kent in a dominant position at the end of day one.
Following the conclusion of India's second innings at The Oval, Sam Billings has been released from England duty and will be able to bat, replacing Marcus O'Riordan.