|LV= County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford (day one)|
|Kent 193: Stevens 50, Ryder 5-43|
|Essex 67-6: Mickleburgh 20no, Stevens 3-23|
|Kent lead by 126 runs|
|Essex 3pts, Kent 2pts|
Jesse Ryder starred for Essex and Darren Stevens for Kent on a day when 16 wickets fell at Chelmsford.
Ryder picked up 5-43 on a green pitch, with only Stevens counterattacking for Kent with an aggressive half-century.
Despite bowling Kent out for 193, Essex struggled to press home their advantage as their top order collapsed.
Matt Coles (2-20) bowled well with the new ball but three late wickets for Stevens, including Ryder, left Essex reeling at 67-6.
Daniel Bell-Drummond (30) was the only top-order batsman who played with control but he was dismissed on the stroke of lunch by David Masters.
Ryder and Greg Smith cleaned up Kent's tail, before Ryder was left to prop up Essex's batting after they struggled against the pace of Coles and Ivan Thomas.
Despite Kent dropping two chances in two balls, nightwatchman Jamie Porter (three) spooned Stevens to Fabian Cowdrey in the final over of the day to give the all-rounder his third wicket.
Essex head coach Paul Grayson:
"The game is moving forward pretty quickly.
"It's a similar type of pitch that we finished on last season. It's done a little bit all day and although we were pretty pleased with the way we bowled, Kent have probably edged the day with those late wickets."
Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens:
"There is a little bit more grass than usual on the wicket here at Chelmsford. I've never seen a pitch like this ever here.
"There were times when I thought that I might have been better off batting left-handed, but I got through it and got a few runs on the board.
"The ball is taking off a bit from a good length, but I think getting to 194 is quite a big score on that pitch."