It was a tale of two England bowlers yesterday as advantage in this match see-sawed from one side to the other then back again. Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad could not have enjoyed more contrasting fortunes. Both had featured in the final Test of the series in New Zealand last winter, but whether both make it to the first Test against the Kiwis at Lord's next week is another matter.
The former certainly reinforced his claims to be retained, but there was some doubt cast over the latter's chances of being included in the mix, although Broad's batting might make him a tempting choice.
Sidebottom maintained an awkward line and length throughout the remainder of the Kent innings after they had resumed on their precarious overnight score of 33 for four.
All four of those wickets had fallen to Sidebottom on the first evening, but he had to wait until well into the second session before he completed the 16th five-wicket haul of his career – his dismissal of Robbie Joseph giving him 5 for 55.
Broad, at 21 some nine years Sidebottom's junior, picked up his solitary wicket early on, but his relative inexperience left him bereft of an alternative approach and his 14 overs went at five runs apiece.
As for Kent they battled their way back, with Yasir Arafat and Ryan McLaren in the vanguard of the fightback, each man passing fifty, and the little wag from the tail-enders Robbie Joseph and Martin Saggers secured a 36-run first innings lead, which had been unthinkable first thing yesterday morning.
By the close, and given the way this match has oscillated, things had swung back marginally into Nottinghamshire's favour, with an overall lead of 70 and eight wickets standing, but there is plenty of time left for Kent to get back on top.