GARETH Andrew and Moeen Ali shared seven wickets as a disciplined Worcestershire bowling display restricted Kent to a first-innings lead of just five runs on day two at New Road.
One of the County’s main problems last term was letting sides off the hook after making early inroads.
However, just when Kent’s lower order threatened to give their side a handy advantage, the home bowlers mopped up the tail.
Worcestershire were left with a tricky 17-over spell to see out the day but openers Daryl Mitchell (22 not out) and Matt Pardoe (18no) saw their side to 41-0, which put them in a healthy position to pile the pressure on Kent.
From 39-2, Kent added just six runs in seven overs before Jack Shantry had Brendan Nash snaffled at first slip by Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
Daniel Bell-Drummond and Ben Harmison remained watchful but gradually repaired some damage with the former reaching a 124-ball half-century.
Kent were restricted to 21 runs from the first 11 overs of the afternoon before Moeen (3-43) trapped Bell-Drummond in front for 61 after the duo added 81 runs in 39 overs.
England all-rounder Moeen then beat Darren Stevens’ tentative push forward and the returning Andrew (4-42) accounted for Sam Billings shortly after the new ball was taken to reduce Kent to 181-6.
After tea, Andrew bowled England spinner James Tredwell for 15 with one that kept low, while Moeen produced a brilliant one-handed catch to account for Harmison (55).
Andrew won the sixth lbw decision to account for Robbie Joseph, while Moeen wrapped the innings up by bowling Mitchell Claydon.