Mushtaq Ahmed claimed his fourth five-wicket haul of the season to keep Sussex's Championship match with Kent evenly poised at Tunbridge Wells.

Ahmed removed Mark Ealham and Alex Loudon in successive overs before wrapping up the innings when he had Alamgir Sheriyar leg before offering no shot to finish with 5-70.

James Kirtley chipped in with the wickets of James Tredwell and Martin Saggers as Kent were bowled out for 275, giving Sussex a valuable first innings lead of 36.

Kent had added ten runs to their overnight 188-5 when they lost Ealham in the seventh over this morning, caught at backward point.

Mushtaq gained further reward for a fine spell in his next over when nightwatchman Loudon was baffled by his quicker delivery.

The ball took the edge and deflected off wicketkeeper Matt Prior's pads into the hands of Tim Ambrose at short leg.

Kent were then revived by an eighth wicket stand of 35 in seven overs between Geraint Jones and James Tredwell with Jones lofting Mushtaq over long off and out of the ground for the first of two sixes.

Lunch: Sussex 16 for 1 (9 overs) 1st innings 311 (Martin-Jenkins 67, Adams 62); Kent 275 all out