Kent's eighth wicket pair of Calum Haggett and Adam Riley held out for 22 overs to ensure an honourable draw with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in their County Championship Division Two match.
The pair dug in with an unbroken stand of 46, surviving numerous appeals and bowling changes to deny their desperate opponents as Kent, set 342 to break a six-match winless sequence, fell 46 short at 296-8.
Hampshire seemed to be on their way to only their second win of the season when Kent were reduced to 41-4 before lunch but a stirring innings of 96 from Darren Stevens removed the initiative from the home side and they never regained it.
The scene was set for an intriguing last day when the hosts were fed 108 in 9.4 overs by Sam Northeast, who had never previously taken a wicket, and Robert Key, who had managed only three. Liam Dawson (87 no) and James Vince (79 no) gorged themselves on a rich diet of full tosses and half-volleys before Hampshire declared at 207-3.
The visitors made a dreadful start in their search for a first victory, losing Key for one and Northeast for 13, both to David Balcombe, along with Brendan Nash (15) and Ben Harmison (two) all in the first 13 overs.
But on a blameless wicket, Stevens and Daniel Bell-Drummond launched a powerful counter-attack with a dynamic stand of 144 in 34 overs for the fifth wicket before Stevens misjudged a short delivery from Sean Ervine and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater held the catch.
At tea, Kent were still not out of the reckoning at 194-5 and Hampshire had a whole session to get the five wickets they needed.
Bell-Drummond's useful contribution of 66 ended at 219 when he turned spinner Danny Briggs to James Vince at short leg and Geraint Jones fell to the same combination three runs later.
By now Kent were 222-7 with 32 overs remaining but they were in no mood to gift Hampshire some extra points. Haggett and Matt Coles began the resistance with a stand of 28 in 10 overs before a mix-up over a run saw Coles beaten by a direct throw from Jimmy Adams.
But that was the closest Hampshire got a badly-needed win, with Haggett (32 no) and Riley (21 no) digging in to secure the draw.