Michael Carberry struck his first LV= County Championship century in almost two years to ensure Hampshire prospered against his former side Kent in the Division Two clash at Canterbury.
The 32-year-old, who spent three seasons at the St Lawrence ground before heading south at the end of 2005, hit a season's-best 137 not out to help Hampshire post 263 for three on the opening day.
Carberry lost opening partner Jimmy Adams early on and saw James Vince depart leg-before after tea.
But, either side of Vince's dismissal, he featured in a second-wicket stand worth 146 in 56.3 overs with Liam Dawson and an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership alongside Sean Ervine that added a further 71.
Batting first having won the toss on another scorching day in the south east, Hampshire's top-order initially struggled to score at anything much above two runs an over on a slow and unresponsive pitch.
The only wicket to fall before lunch came in the 13th over when Adams, driving loosely at Charlie Shreck, picked out Daniel Bell-Drummond at short extra-cover.
Dawson and Carberry combined to bat beyond the tea interval, although it was a day for the purists as Kent's attack, shorn of Mitchell Claydon, Mark Davies and Matt Coles, sent down 17 maidens in the opening two sessions.
Vernon Philander, Calum Haggett and Darren Stevens all bowled wicket-to-wicket on a benign surface and conceded less than two an over during four throwback hours of cricket.
Dawson overtook Carberry to be first to his half-century, from 124 balls with five fours, in the 50th over of the game.
Carberry reached the milestone in the following over, from 142 deliveries and with six boundaries.
There was brief respite from Hampshire's backs-to-the-wall batting when Kent introduced part-time wrist-spinner Brendan Nash, whose two overs from the Nackington Road End went for 23, including consecutive straight sixes by Carberry.
Dawson went soon after tea for 75, lbw when working across the line to a near-yorker-length ball from Darren Stevens, and Vince fell in similar circumstances, missing a Haggett off-cutter.
After five hours at the crease, Carberry posted his 28th first-class hundred and first in the championship since September 2011.
He reached the landmark with a back-foot cut for four off Philander, having faced 219 balls and hit 11 fours and a brace of sixes.