Kent completed a Specsavers County Championship double over neighbours Sussex after wrapping up a 147-run win over their Division Two rivals with a session to spare in Tunbridge Wells.
Sam Northeast’s unbeaten side, who have not lost to Sussex in their last seven meetings, required 43.4 overs to mop up the last four Sussex wickets and secure their fourth win of the campaign to remain on the shirt-tails of divisional leaders Nottinghamshire.
Resuming on their parlous overnight score of 182 for six – and still 322 shy of their improbable victory target of 504 – Sussex showed greater resilience in only losing two wickets in the first session.
Kent were made to wait 39 minutes for their first breakthough when James Harris rushed one past the outside edge of David Wiese (34) to uproot off stump as the right-hander prodded from the crease in defence.
Michael Burgess should have been following him back to the pavilion with his score on 64, but Will Gidman at first slip fluffed his lines by dropping a decent chance off the bowling of Matt Coles.
The Kent firebrand had his man four runs later though, trapping Burgess lbw with a darting off-cutter to end the Sussex keeper’s 252-minute vigil and send the visitors into lunch eight down.
After a short shower during the interval and the loss of five overs, Kent resumed after the break to strike with the second delivery. Jofra Archer (27) moved back and a across his stumps aiming to leg, only to miss a full-delivery from James Harris and cause umpire Steve Gale to raise the finger for lbw.
Vernon Philander continued to frustrate his former county into the mid-session by moving to his season’s first championship half-century from 69 balls and with seven fours and a six.
Impressive display this match. Hell of a win against a quality Sussex side. Very proud of the lads!#Kent— Jason Gillespie (@dizzy259) May 29, 2017
Harris then bagged his fourth wicket of the innings to remove last man Danny Briggs lbw for 18. The tail-ender swished to the leg-side to be sent packing by umpire Gale.
Philander was unbeaten with 73 but deserved winners Kent banked 23 points. Sussex, who have now lost three of their four games, banked only three points.
After steering his side to second spot in the Division 2 table Kent captain Sam Northeast said: "Sussex battled really hard second time around and I felt taking new-ball wickets was the key for us. Stevens and Coles bowled excellent spells for us yesterday and through there were times when we didn't look like getting wickets we kept grinding away. hoping something would happen, and eventually it all worked out."