Kent were heavily punished for a miscalculation with the toss as Warwickshire amassed 367-3 on the opening day of their LV=Insurance County Championship Division 1 match at Edgbaston.
Sam Billings chose to field after winning the toss and Rob Yates and Sam Hain punished that decision with centuries - Yates hitting 128 off 217 balls with Hain unbeaten at stumps on 124 from 235 balls.
Billings' call appeared a curious decision on a pitch which looked firm and true and so it proved, as Yates and Hain added 166 for the third wicket before Dan Mousley brought late impetus with a sparkling unbeaten 72 (from 78 balls).
Kent's seam attack, already missing the injured Nathan Gilchrist and Grant Stewart, was further hampered when Matt Quinn limped off just 22 balls into his new-ball spell. Quinn returned after lunch, but was unable to prevent a bracing reality check for his side after their winning start to the season against Northamptonshire last week.
Kent head coach Matt Walker said: "With the toss, we felt that bowling first was our best chance to win the game, with a bit in the pitch and a bit of moisture around - equally we knew if we had lost the toss and batted it wouldn't have been an issue. It's just a good cricket wicket.
"We just weren't quite good enough but there'll be a bit of reflection on the day and we've got to come back tomorrow positive and better and when our chance comes to bat, take it because we know there are runs to be had. We need to come back stronger tomorrow and just make it hard for them to score.
"We'll have to see how Quinny's groin settles down. He recognised there was something not right, it was nothing drastic, not a pop or anything like that, and he was able to get back out there and bowl but not a full capacity. So, hopefully, he recovers well overnight.
"It doesn't help because you want everyone firing to their max so that made the first session a little bit difficult for us, having lost Grant and with Gillie on his way back."
For Warwickshire, who welcomed England star Chris Woakes back into the team, it was a strong day’s work to follow their impressive domination of Somerset in their rain-affected opening-round draw at Taunton.
As the Edgbaston season opened in glorious sunshine but a biting wind, Yates and Alex Davies began aggressively. Davies moved crisply to 23 (from 34 balls) before playing on to Joey Evison’s third ball.
Conor McKerr, playing the first of a two-match loan from Surrey, soon added the wicket of Will Rhodes, who skied an ugly hoik to mid-on, but that was Kent’s last success for 51 overs.
Yates reached his half-century from 69 balls with his 10th four, cut off McKerr, and celebrated with six ladled over long-leg off Michael Hogan.
Hain followed to a more circumspect 50 (from 122 balls) as the third-wicket pair advanced solidly throughout the afternoon. It was a compact, well-managed partnership for the team plan.
With Woakes joining a seam attack also including Olly Hannon-Dalby, Chris Rushworth and Hassan Ali, Warwickshire will fancy their chances of putting Kent under serious pressure if they can amass a big total.
Yates completed an accomplished century from 122 balls and it was a surprise when he perished, becoming Joe Denly’s 78th first-class victim when he lifted the spinner to mid-on.
Any Kent hopes of inducing a clatter were quickly smothered by Mousley’s swaggering start. The 21-year-old lifted Evison and Denly for maximums in his first 20 balls and then sent the new ball, propelled by Quinn, far into the seats at long-on.
The implacable Hain - his England chance will surely arrive one day - reached his 16th first-class century from 198 balls, Mousley motored to 50 in 55 and the fourth-wicket pair added an unbroken 132 up to the close to complete an excellent day for Warwickshire and leave Kent reflecting upon an early candidate for toss clanger of the season.