Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond hit an unbeaten century as Kent battled back after being forced to follow on against Lancashire on day three at Canterbury.
Bell-Drummond enjoyed an excellent pre-season but runs had evaded him in his first five innings of the summer.
He put all that right, however, reaching 108 not out by the close although Kent trail the visitors by 147 runs going into the final day of their County Championship clash.
It was Bell-Drummond's first Championship ton since he hit 166 batting at no.4 against Warwickshire in July 2019 - and his first opening the innings in red ball cricket since April 2016 when he scored 124 at Leicestershire.
Bell-Drummond, leading the side with Sam Billings at the IPL, said: “Obviously we were in a very tough situation in the game so I just wanted to lead from the front and get the guys off to a good start with Jordan and take it step-by-step.
"I was just very focused on what we’ve got to do and we’ve still got a long way to go but I’m just happy for myself and the team that I could make it through to the close unbeaten.
"Obviously they’re on top in the game but I think we did well in the afternoon and the evening.
“The four wickets last night hurt us to be honest and we couldn’t get going this morning.
"We all hold our hands up, we weren’t good enough, especially me in the first innings.
"I don’t think the pitch has changed that much, a few balls misbehaved a tiny bit but it’s still for the most part a very flat wicket.
"There was a bit of spin for (Matt) Parkinson, he’s a good bowler but I’m backing the boys tomorrow that we can get a draw.”
Resuming on 85-4 in their first innings, Kent were skittled out for 169 on the stroke of lunch. They got off to the worst possible start when Zak Crawley was caught behind for 60 off the first ball of the day.
They resisted well for the next hour, until the introduction of Matt Parkinson, who had Heino Kuhn caught by Rob Jones at square leg for 21 in his first over, after a miscued sweep.
Darren Stevens was out for just one, having already been given a comical reprieve when he top-edged Parkinson to square leg. The ball was in the air for so long Stevens started walking, but he was dropped by Jones, making the fielder the most relieved man in the ground when he was lbw to Parkinson’s next ball.
Bailey then removed Ollie Robinson and Fred Klaassen with successive balls, bowling the former for 21 and having the latter caught by Keaton Jennings at first slip for a golden duck. The final ball of the session saw Miguel Cummins caught by Dane Vilas for 19, attempting to drive Josh Bohannon, leaving Matt Milnes not out on 17.
With five sessions to bat to force a draw, Kent's second innings got off to a flying start with Jordan Cox - who had made ducks in his last two knocks - racing to 31 from just 26 balls, he was particularly strong on anything that drifted onto his pads. Bell-Drummond soon got into his stride, punishing anything short and wide and the confidence between the duo was clear to see.
They put on 176 for the first wicket before Parkinson had Cox caught by a diving Jones at cover but it was a fleeting success for Lancashire.
Bell-Drummond reached three figures with a single off a full toss from Parkinson and he was joined by Crawley, who was 13 not out at stumps, with Kent ending the day on 209-1.