Kent's stand-in captain Geraint Jones injected new life into his team's LV= County Championship clash with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl by making a challenging declaration after the follow-on had been saved on day three.
Hampshire closed on 98 for three in their second innings, leading by 232 after Jones had declared 134 behind in a bold bid to end his team's winless start to the season.
The whole of the first session was washed out by heavy rain but play resumed after the lunch break with Kent 149 for four, still needing 157 to avoid following on.
Their plight worsened seven runs later when Brendan Nash edged an outswinger from James Tomlinson into the slips to be pouched by the reliable Liam Dawson.
Yet that brought Darren Stevens to the crease and a belligerent stand of 102 in 20 overs with Ben Harmison ensured potential embarrassment was comfortably averted.
Stevens lifted Tomlinson for six while taking 14 from an over and Kent had no problems until the all-rounder played across the line to the fourth ball of James Vince's first over and fell lbw for 60.
Harmison departed five runs short of the follow-on target, for 63, when he drove David Balcombe to Danny Briggs at square cover.
Soon after, Jones called a halt to the Kent innings at 321 for seven.
Hampshire, who have mustered only one win from six matches, made a poor start to their second innings, losing James Adams and Michael Carberry with only 12 on the board.
Adams went in the second over, caught behind by Jones off Matt Coles for his third duck in four innings and Charlie Shreck had Carberry lbw in the third.
First-innings century-maker Neil McKenzie carried on where he left off with six fours before chopping a delivery from Coles onto his stumps to fall for 27.
That left Hampshire 53 for three but Dawson and Vince saw their team through to stumps with an unbroken stand of 45 to set up the prospect of an intriguing last day.