Winter recruits Charlie Shreck and Michael Powell impressed on their joint Kent debuts, but were unable to prevent their new county from slipping to a 21-run defeat in a pre-season friendly against Middlesex at Beckenham.
Batting first on the notoriously flat wicket at the Worsley Bridge Road ground, Middlesex cantered along at more than a run-a-ball to post 257 for four from their 40 overs.
Middlesex Left-hander Dawid Malan easily top-scored with 128, while South Africa-born batsman Neil Dexter chipped in with 37 on the ground where he once scored a one-day hundred for Kent.
Shreck, who signed from Nottinghamshire in the close season, bagged the wickets of Sam Robson and Malan for figures of two for 55, but was the only front line bowler to impress as Middlesex posted a useful total.
In reply, Kent lost wicketkeeper Sam Billings for only 19, but kept in touch with the asking rate courtesy of a second-wicket stand worth 102 between Alex Blake and Beckenham-born skipper Rob Key.
Left-hander Blake contributed a useful 58, and then Powell marched in to join Key in adding a further 67 for the third wicket before Kent’s run-chase came off the rails.
Key fell six short of his century and Powell was bowled by Toby Roland-Jones for 30 to leave Kent’s middle order with too much to do in the closing overs.