Kent’s rosy start against Derbyshire came off the rails when they lost four wickets for five runs in the space of 15 balls to limp in at lunch on 91 for four after the first interval of this Specsavers County Championship clash.
Bowling first after an uncontested toss, Derbyshire’s new ball attack made a slightly sloppy start in offering leg-side and overpitched deliveries that Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sean Dickson happily dispatched to the ropes.
Kent’s openers picked up 15 boundaries in an opening stand of 83 that came to a stunning end once the visiting bowlers eventually found their range after 24 overs.
Will Davis started the collapse with two in as many balls. Dickson (41) drove loosely at a wide away swinger to nick to the keeper then Joe Denly departed for a duck when he played outside the line of an in-ducker to go lbw.
Sam Northeast survived the hat-trick, but Bell-Drummond (38) followed the procession when he nibbled at one from Luis Reece to see Darren Smit pull off a stunning one-handed catch at second slip when diving across first slip.
Kent’s misery continued when Will Gidman (0) played outside a Davis in-swinger to go leg before.
Kent started the day facing a selection dilemma following the return to fitness of James Harris, the Middlesex loanee seamer. Harris eventually got the nod at the expense of the luckless Mitch Claydon, who had taken five wickets in Kent’s comprehensive win at Hove in the previous game.