Moeen Ali became the third player to reach 1,000 first-class runs this season as Worcestershire struggled to get on terms with Kent in the LV= County Championship Division Two clash at New Road.
The former Warwickshire batsman followed Joe Root and Chris Rogers to the milestone while making 59 in his county's progress to 213 for seven on a rain-shortened second day.
Moeen's innings was crucial in trimming his team's deficit to 111 after James Tredwell's best championship bowling performance for two years.
The Kent captain twice took two wickets in five balls in posting figures of 4-34, yet Worcestershire comfortably avoided the follow-on thanks to the composure of Tom Fell.
The 19-year-old Oxford University batsman, who made an unbeaten 62 against Australia last month, again looked impressive in scoring 64 not out from 123 balls on his second appearance in the championship.
His unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 55 with Jack Shantry, who ended 20 not out, made sure that Moeen's work was not wasted.
Having passed the 900 mark more than a month ago, the left-hander finally reached four figures when his eighth boundary, a crisp clip through midwicket off Mark Davies, took him to 43.
By then Worcestershire had lost their openers - Matt Pardoe and Daryl Mitchell both giving slip catches in a spell of 2-23 by Darren Stevens - and soon afterwards Thilan Samaraweera was taken behind the wicket off Calum Haggett.
For Kent it was another day of consolidation in their recovery from a dismal start to the season. Bottom of the division at the halfway stage, their campaign began to pick up with a first win against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
Now they are looking a stronger, more competitive unit. Their seamers pegged away with the necessary accuracy and the pressure led to mistakes by Worcestershire's top order, although it was a switch to Tredwell's spin that accounted for Moeen.
After batting for two and a half hours, a loose shot to mid-on sparked a collapse in which Ben Cox, Joe Leach and Gareth Andrew were all snaffled in a ring of close catchers.
When the seventh wicket fell at 158, Worcestershire still needed 15 to make Kent bat again but Shantry cleared that hurdle with two cover driven-boundaries in an over from Davies.
That seemed to take the momentum out of Kent and Fell, who was out for nought in his only previous championship innings against Glamorgan, cashed in with 10 fours.