BBC Sport cricket

Related BBC sites

Twenty20 Cup finals day
Rose Bowl: 26 July



Middlesex 187-6 (20 overs) bt Kent 184-5 (20 overs) by three runs

Middlesex 141-2 (15.4 overs) bt Durham 138-6 (20 overs) by eight wickets


Kent 173-7 (20 overs) bt Essex 159-8 (20 overs) by 14 runs
606: DEBATE
e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Ben Dirs

KENT INNINGS

"An all-run four in the final over of the Twenty20 Cup final? Astonishing scenes! What a game!"
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

MIDDLESEX WIN TWENTY20 CUP FINAL BY THREE RUNS

20th over - 184-5 Kemp gets Henderson's first ball away for a couple and follows up with a crackerjack stroke, straight down the ground for four. Kemp heaves Henderson to long-on for two more before a wild throw from Malan gifts Kent an all-run four - that was astonishing from Malan, the ball slipping out of his hand and dribbling down towards the long-leg fence. Six needed from three. Kemp gets Henderson away for another couple to mid-on - four needed from two. This is extraordinary stuff - Henderson pulls out a slower ball and Kemp is unable to get a bat on it... four needed from the final ball of the match... Kemp attempts to loft the ball over Henderson's head, can only find Henderson on the bump and the bowler flicks off the bails to win the match for Middlesex... the Middlesex players go wild and the relief is palpable on the face of skipper Joyce. What a final, what a day - in the eyes of the crowd at the Rose Bowl at least, Twenty20 is king.

19th over - Stevens c Joyce b Nannes 33, 166-4
Take that you swine! Stevens hoists Nannes over extra-cover for six. Magnificent shot... but he's gone next ball, Stevens holing out to Joyce at mid-wicket. Daniel Radcliffe vaults the fence and sits next to Geraint Jones on the Kent bench. Bet Jones's team-mates are over the moon - there they are trying to win the Twenty20 Cup and JOnes is having a chat with Harry Potter. Mahmood is the new batsman and he punches Nannes through mid-wicket for four. Nannes serves up a low full-bunger, but Mahmood is unable to get him away for four - two runs Kent and need 16 from the final over. Still anyone's.

18th over - 160-3 Murtagh gets one right in the blockhole and Stevens is unable to dig it out for any runs. Stevens advances down the crease and drives to long-off for one. One more for Kemp with an ugly heave to long-on and this is a fine over so far from Murtagh. Slower ball from Murtagh and Stevens misses with an almighty swipe. Stevens hits straight and Owais Shah throws himself at the ball on the boundary to limit the batsman to just two runs. Just five from that over from Murtagh, that's put Middlesex back in the driving seat... hasn't it?

17th over - 155-3 Kemp shows the maker's name and times Henderson sweetly straight over long-off for six. Henderson retaliates well, sticking one right in the blockhole and Kemp just manages to gouge it out for a single. And there are four invaluable runs from Stevens, moving to outside off-stump and tickling a Henderson full-toss over his shoulder for four. Kent need 33 from 18 balls, it's shaping up to be a classic final.

16th over - 141-3 Kemp and Stevens happy to nudge and nurdle against Kartik and there are just three from that over. Kent require 47 from 24 balls. With seven wickets in hand, you'd expect them to do it.

15th over - 138-3 We've got some Whigfield! And the young fella's up again, throwing shapes with abandon on the steps. If I'd have behaved like that when I was his age, my dad probably would packed up the Esky and gone home without me. Kemp flays Murtagh through mid-wicket for four before Joyce drops an absolute clanger at mid-off - Kemp chips the ball straight to him at a nice pace and at hip height and the Irishman puts it down. That was a lollipop, and Kemp makes the most of his reprieve, crashing Murtagh through mid-wicket for another four. How key might that be?

14th over - 122-3 Stevens should have been out there - he attempts the sweep and the ball rolls off his glove and into the hands of wicketkeeper Scott. However, the umpire didn't have a clear view and he's adjudged not out. Stevens picks up a brace before nurdling a single. Udal fizzes one past another almighty smite from Kemp, but the South African just manages to get his bat back in time. This game is beautifully poised.

13th over - 119-3 The big-hitting Kemp goes for some tap and fails to connect with an away-swinger from Nannes. Almost another run-out, Joyce shying at the stumps and missing narrowly with Stevens out of his ground. South Africa's Kemp misses with another almighty heave and Scott asks the question behind the stumps, but Umpire Mallender is having none of it. Stevens tries to go straight over the top, doesn't quite get it and the ball lands in open space. Superb fielding from Malan out on the extra-cover boundary and Stevens manages only two.

12th over - 113-3 After 11 overs Middlesex were 86-3, so Kent are still bang on target despite the loss of three quick wickets. Kemp gouges out a dipping delivery from Udal and runs a sharp single. Just five from Udal's next over and this is simmering under nicely... my money's on Kent... at the moment...

11th over - Arafat run out (Joyce) 1, 96-3
Arafat is the next man in, and he's off the mark immediately. But that's a disaster for Kent and their innings is disintegrating - Kemp tickles the ball to square-leg, Joyce picks up and swivels and Arafat is miles out of his ground. Even worse for Kent, that was a no-ball. Kemp obviously feels partly responsible for that run out, and he slaps Kartik straight over the top for six before marmalising another six over wide long-on. That was big, bad and very, very nasty.

10th over - Denly c Godleman b Udal 31, 91-2
Have the wheels come off this Kent innings? Denly goes for the big heave-ho over mid-wicket, doesn't quite get it and Godleman takes a good pouch in the deep. Kent need 97 from 60 balls, and once again the spinners are the ones doing the damage for Middlesex.

9th over - Key c Scott b Kartik 52, 89-1
Unlike the Essex batsmen, Key is not going to be kept on a leash by this Middlesex spin duo. He swats Kartik through the covers to move to his fifty. But he's gone! Lovely flight from Kartik and Key, staying back, feathers a catch to Scott behind the timbers. I think Key was OK with the decision, but I don't think he appreciated the send-off from Kartik - as he trudged from the field he glared over his shoulder at Kartik as if the Indian spinner had just defecated in his shoe.

"Surely I can't have been the only one to be thinking 'urgh, what a brat' when I saw that boy dancing on TV? Though I'm no great fan of children generally." Richard Garman in the TMS inbox

8th over - 83-0 Udal is on and Key slog-sweeps him for four, the ball piercing the two fielders on the mid-wicket boundary. Key reverse sweeps for four more to move to 45 from 25 balls - could this be a 10-wicket win for Kent? One more for Key with a nurdle to mid-wicket and Denly picks up one with a tickle to square-leg. Key nicks the strike with another nurdled single and Kent require 105 off 72 balls. Game on.

7th over - 71-0 It's time for some spinnage, and Kartik's first over is treated with the utmost respect - just three singles from it.

6th over - 68-0 This is just about the perfect start for Kent, as Denly lofts Henderson over wide long-on for four. Another four from Denly before the youngster unveils an absolute peach of a drive through the covers - nothing Twenty20 about that shot, and it sends a little fella wild in the stands. All of 10-years-old, it looks like he's had Tizer for breakfast, Fanta for lunch and Lilt for dinner and he's busting some serious moves. Mind you, he's not a 20-year-old woman wearing very tight hot pants, so I'm not really interested. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHOW THE CHEERLEADERS!

5th over - 51-0 Nannes has been shifted to the other end and Key glides his first ball away for four. And that's one of the shots of the day from Key, lacing Nannes through the covers for four. Nannes digs one in and that's a leg-bye, the ball bouncing off Key's stomach. Peter Thorp (see below), I think we'd call it a figment of a madman's imagination.

"Do you think football should follow suit and have a Twenty20 competition? Rules could be: no-one allowed to complain to the ref, no diving, no silly haircuts and everyone has a jolly good time without swearing at each other - what could we call it?" Peter Thorp in the TMS inbox

"Nearly all of the crowd appear to have stayed for the duration - it would be great if they could be rewarded with a grandstand finish under the floodlights. Every boundary seems to have them on their feet, whichever team scores it" BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

4th over - 41-0 Henderson starts with a wide down leg-side. Denly just clears the fielder at mid-on and runs two. This is pretty sketchy so far from Denly, but he's still there - Denly goes for some hammer and the ball skews fine off the outside edge and races away for four. It's looking greasy out there now as a Middlesex fielder loses his footing and makes a right hash of his throw. Key strikes another four, pulling Henderson away through the mid-wicket region.

3rd over - 26-0 Murtagh drags one down and Key is onto it in a flash, hoicking the right-arm seamer over square-leg for six. Is Key out next ball? Middlesex think they've had him stumped, Key thinks he had his foot over the line. The third umpire presumably didn't know what to think, and so gave him not out. Borderline decision, but I think it was the right one. Key makes hay, carving a wide one from Murtagh through cover-point for four. One more single from Key, a leg-bye and there are 12 from the over. Kent ticking over nicely.

2nd over - 14-0 Key mis-times a pull off Nannes and the ball finds open space - one run. A single from Denly before Key hits the first boundary of Kent's inning, swivelling at the hip and tugging Nannes away for four. One more for Key with a flick to square-leg, and Australia's renaissance man Nannes is up to 90mph. That's a nice - albeit risky - shot from Denly, gliding Nannes over the slips for four. Anyone got any emails? Eleven from the over.

1st over - 3-0 Whatever the result, the crowd are loving this, and the traditionalists should take note of that. Murtagh to bowl the first over for Middlesex, and he's got two slips in. The first ball of the Kent innings raps Denly on the pad and runs way for one leg-bye. Murtagh spears one down Key's leg-side, that's a wide. Bit of extra lift from Murtagh and Key, attempting a back-foot drive, is beaten. Key does manage to get a single away before Denly charges and is scythed in half. Nervy start from Kent. The most Middlesex have conceded this year in Twenty20 is 165, so that's the size of the task for Kent.

2051: The Middlesex players are out practising their fielding while Kent's openers Key and Denly pace round the boundary rope like a couple of caged tigers. Here come the umpires, we'll have play in a minute.

MIDDLESEX INNINGS

20th over - 187-6 Mahmood to bowl the final over and that's peche de la peche from Scott, gliding the Pakistan seamer to the third-man boundary. Mahmood using all his nous in this final over, changing the pace and striving for the yorker, and there are just eight from that final over.

19th over - Udal b Arafat 1, 179-6 Kent skipper Rob Key will be spewing about that - Udal swishes and misses but the ball runs through Jones's legs behind the stumps and runs away for four. Arafat mixing things up, serving up a slower ball that Udal misses again, and Arafat gets his man next ball, cleaning Udal up with a perfect yorker. Ben Scott is the new man at the crease and apparently his favourite musical artist is Cliff Richard. Do You Wanna Dance, says Arafat, as he sends down another yorker that Scott does well to dig out.

18th over - Morgan c Tredwell b Mahmood 23, 173-5 Wide from Mahmood and Malan reaches for it and pokes the ball through point for one. Mahmood, with all the experience in the world, serves up slower ball that leaves Morgan groping before Morgan misses with a big swipe. Mahmood loses control, the ball arcing across the face of Morgan for a wide, but Morgan holes out next ball, skying to Tredwell at mid-wicket. No huge celebrations from the Kent players, they know they've been dragged a long way out to sea already.

17th over - Shah b McLaren 75, 162-4
There's that reverse frying pan shot again from Morgan, but this time he gets enough wood on it and it dribbles away for four. But that's Shah gone! McLaren pitches one up and bowls Shah through the gate, but Shah may already have done enough to win this match. His 75 came from just 35 balls. Malan is the new man in the middle and he's off the mark with a punch into the covers for two. One more for Malan before Morgan unveils the frying pan again! That was hip-height from McLaren and Morgan turns it round the corner for four.

16th over - 157-3 Morgan picks up a couple with a flip to deep square-leg and two more courtesy of a cut backward of square. Morgan's not much cop with that reverse sweep, he looks like he's hacking through a thicket in an attempt to locate his golf ball. Four more for Shah before he goes airborne once again, flogging Stevens over the rope at long-leg. And there's another! Shah seeing it like a planet at the moment, and he crashes Stevens over the rope at square leg. The ton still on for Shah, 200 still on for Middlesex.

15th over - 136-3 Shah swings Cook away through mid-wicket for four before driving to mid-off for one. Morgan tries the reverse sweep and the ball top-edges onto his helmet and ricochets to short fine-leg for one. Shah mows Cook into the off-side for one before Morgan finds wide open space with a chip over cover for two. Morgan will keep the strike, the Irishman nurdling the final ball of the over to fine-leg for one.

14th over - 126-3 Stevens into the attack with his dibbly-dobblies and he gets one past a wild slash from Shah outside off. But that's better from Shah, shovelling Stevens over his shoulder for four. A fumble on the mid-wicket boundary allows Shah to run up his fifty - that came from just 27 balls. Huge reception from the crowd, and he gets his head down and picks up two more with a clip to long-on. That's classy play from Shah, opening the face, gliding Steves to short third-man and retaining the strike.

13th over - 117-3 Morgan gets himself into a bit of a pickle trying the old 'frying pan' shot, but Shah's still motoring, carting Cook through mid-wicket for four. Shah really purring at the Rose Bowl, lacing Cook through the covers on the up. Another four, 200 a possibility if Shah can stick around.

12th over - 107-3 The left-handed Morgan angles Tredwell to square-leg for one but there's no half-measures from Shah, who drops to one knee and swings Tredwell deep into the crowd at mid-wicket... AND AGAIN!... AND AGAIN! Shah's got Tredwell over his knee and he's administering a damn good spanking. By the looks of things, the cheerleaders loved that damn good spanking as much as I did.

11th over - Henderson c Key b McLaren 44, 84-3
Attempted yorker from McLaren, and Henderson skips over it. Henderson looks to mow McLaren through the off-side but gets an inside-edge to fine-leg for one. Shah flips McLaren to square-leg for one before we are visited by controversy - Henderson clubs McLaren into the covers, where Key appears to take a straightforward catch falling forward. However, Henderson stands his ground, claiming it was a bump ball. The third umpire has to make the decision, and after a ominous bit of tick-tocking over the PA, he decides Henderson's a gonner. Massive wicket for Kent, this game really in the balance. Morgan is the new batsman and he's off the mark with a single.

10th over - 81-2 Tredwell into the attack and this could be a key period of the match - either the Kent spinner puts the breaks on, or Henderson gets stuck into him. Middlesex keep things ticking over with four singles and a brace, the game enters a pivotal stage.

9th over - 75-2 Owais Shah almost puts his shoulder out hoicking Arafat round the corner for four and he picks up a single with a dab to point. Another four from Henderson, crashing Arafat over the covers for four, and he picks up one more with a yank to mid-wicket. Shah steals the strike with a steer into the covers. I do like those cheerleaders, I think it must be the knee-length socks. What is it about tanned legs and knee-length socks? Grrrrr...

"This is definitely cricket. The skill levels have to be spot on, otherwise you get found out very quickly." Jason Gillespie on TMS

8th over - 64-2 Not clever bowling that from Cook, dragging the ball down, and Henderson is onto it in a flash, turning him round the corner for four. One more to mid-wicket for Henderson and he's 34 not out from 23 balls.

7th over - 57-2 Henderson digs McLaren out and runs one. McLaren gets a bit of nibble away from Shah, who is beaten outside off-stump. Henderson has put manners on that ball from McLaren, that's an enormous straight six. I wonder what Mahmood's thinking right now? He could have cost his team-mates a new plasma TV each.

6th over - Joyce c Jones b Cook 23, 47-2 Seamer Simon Cook is thrown the pill and Henderson clubs him over cover for four. Cook recovers well, getting one to fade into Henderson and cut him in half. And that's a doozy of a shot from Joyce, dabbing Henderson behind square for four on the leg-side. But he perishes next ball, Joyce freeing his arms outside off-stump and feathering a catch to Jones.

5th over - 38-1 A life for Henderson! The burly South African pulls McLaren to mid-wicket... but Mahmood shells the catch. Henderson thought he was gone there - and he should have been - and how costly might that be? Here's some idea of how costly - Henderson absolutely marmalises him over mid-wicket for the first six of the innings. That's a serious piece of wood the Blacksmith is wielding.

"Simon Hughes may think it's an unnecessary risk, but Middlesex have served notice of their intentions by promoting Henderson to number three. Considering how well Joyce got after Mahmood in the second over, Kent will be desperate to break this stand ASAP"BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

4th over - 29-1 Henderson attempts to mow Mahmood over cover and misses before slicing him down to wide third-man for a couple. Arafat did pretty well to get to that, just couldn't get his fingers underneath it. Fine bowling by Mahmood, an inswinging yorker that scythes Henderson in half, but Henderson does manage to get him away for a single. Joyce eases Mahmood to mid-off for one and Henderson keeps the strike with a ugly tug to mid-wicket. Intriguing first few overs, Henderson being kept on the leash so far.

3rd over - Godleman b Arafat 1, 19-1
Umpire Mallender, who has a touch of the Glenn Roeders about him, says the ball is "well out of shape". Glenn Roeder once told a colleague of mine that he was a "very angry ant" after reading a story he had written about him. Barry Fry also got angry with the same colleague once, but he didn't call him an angry ant. Arafat finally gets the new ball into his hands, and what a good ball this one is - Godleman misses a ball that swings into his pads and his leg-stump goes cartwheeling. Semi-final hero Henderson is next up the ramp and he does very well to gouge out a nasty yorker from Arafat first up. Henderson misses with an almighty heave-ho but he does get off the mark with a leg-side hoick for four. A single to finish the over, and it was a very effective one from Arafat.

2nd over - 18-0 Joyce shuffles to outside leg-stump and launches Mahmood over extra-cover, one bounce for four. This is Mahmood's third Twenty20 Cup final - he also played twice for Surrey. Plenty od experience Mahmood, and he fizzes one past the wafting blade of Joyce. But that's better from the Irishman, punching Mahmood through mid-wicket for four. And another! Joyce is owning Mahmood at the moment - he hoists Mahmood straight over the top for four before rolling his wrists on a short one and watching the ball race away through mid-wicket. Sixteen from the over, great start from Middlesex.

"To both Ben and Jude - how do you even remember 6am after the World Cup Final - I barely remember anything after the match, there's a vague recollection of singing outside a scottish pub about 5am, but not much after that. I'm seriously impressed." Victoria in the TMS inbox

1st over - 2-0 Arafat to have first go with the ball for Kent and Godleman leaves his first delivery, which is wide outside off-stump. Not called, however. Touch of swing from Arafat, and that keeps Godleman honest, but the 19-year-old gets Arafat away for the first run with a swing down to fine-leg. Joyce uses his feet to Arafat and clips him to backward square-leg for one. Godleman reaches for Arafat's final ball and is beaten.

1911: The players are introduced to the crowd and it sounds like Kent have got more fans in. "It's time to start raining fours and sixes... follow your spirit upon this charge," says the announcer in portentous tones. Calm down son, it's the Twenty20 Cup final, anyone would think the four horsemen of the Apocalypse had just rocked up at the Rose Bowl.

1907: If Udal and Kartik can perform again for Middlesex, Kent will have their work cut out. Nevertheless, Kent have to be favourites, and as an Essex man, that's difficult to have to write. We've got two rather shifty looking Royal Marines carrying the Twenty20 Cup onto the pitch. Memo to any would-be streakers: don't bother, you'll be garrotted.

1849: Middlesex have won the toss and decided to have a bat. Send The Blacksmith in up the order, watching him bat is the cricketing equivalent of a Pig Destroyer gig. Astonishing news just in: Matt Lucas has pipped Gail Porter in the latest 'favourite bald celebrity' poll. And Lucy Pinder likes to get naked in the garden when it gets a bit hot. I bet Pinder doesn't send irate emails to the bloke at the Daily Star who subs her copy.

1747: Jude (see below), it was a beautiful moment and I shall never forget it. You and your mates were absolutely rubbered - did any of you get lucky?

"I still proudly tell anyone who will listen about meeting you after the World Cup Final in Paris. I was one of the three girls in cashmere hats at about 6am outside the Frog and Princess..."
Jude in the TMS inbox

1736: So, it's an all-southern final, and that will be kicking off at 1915 BST. I'm off for another nosh... I ruddy love a good nosh...

"A stunning knock from Henderson will give Middlesex plenty of confidence going into this evening's final. 59 not out off 21 balls and seven sixes - a real champagne innings to light up finals day. It'll be a long journey back to Chester-le-Street for Durham, but bring on the final!"
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

MIDDLESEX WON BY EIGHT WICKETS

MIDDLESEX INNINGS

16th over - 141-2 That's a stupendous stroke from Henderson, making room and flailing Harmison through backward-point for four. And another, and that's the South African's fifty, from just 19 balls. Six sixes in that knock, Henderson living up to his nickname of 'The Blacksmith'. And there's another maximum, a huge heave over mid-wicket, and Middlesex have absolutely stuffed Durham there by eight wickets, with 26 balls to spare. It's Middlesex v Kent in the final, both will be going to the Champions League in October... unless Kent are banned for fielding ICL players, or something or other. Too many different tournaments, no real idea what's going on any more...

15th over - 127-2 Henderson picks up one with a mis-timed drive before Shah takes a stride down the pitch and smacks Plunkers over the top and into the long-off fence for four. Twelve needed from 30 balls.

14th over - 117-2 Shah uses his feet and his drive ricochets off Wiseman's boot and runs away for a single. That's monstrous from Henderson who crashes Wiseman over long-on for six before pulling out the driver and booming the spinner over long-off for another maximum. Wiseman rearranges his field... and Henderson makes room and slams him over mid-wicket for his third six of the over. All over now, 22 needed from 36 balls... start packing your swimming cozzies lads, you might be going to Antigua...

13th over - 97-2 Henderson and Shah happy to milk the recalled Plunkett for singles. That's wild from Plunkett, but Shah is only able to deflect the ball to fine-leg for a single. Henderson waits on a slower ball from Plunkett and tucks him round the corner for one and Shah steals the strike with a dab to square-leg. Middlesex well ahead of the game, 42 needed at a run-a-ball.

12th over - 92-2 Wiseman extracting plenty of turn from this Rose Bowl pitch, but Henderson breaks the shackles, leaning back and fizzing a head-high six over the mid-wicket fence. That's some bat-speed from the big man, that was brutal. One more from Henderson with a dab to long-off and Middlesex require 47 runs from 48 balls.

11th over - 82-2 Henderson absolutely marmalises Harmison over long-off for six before coming down the track and heaving a bumper from the England paceman over the mid-wicket fence for another maximum. Henderson goes for some more tap, but this time his heave is mis-timed and he runs just one. That's a good comeback from Harmison, a full-pitched delivery that beats Shah outside off-stump. But those two wallops from Henderson have put Middlesex back in the driving seat.

10th over - Joyce st Mustard b Wiseman 41, 65-2
Wiseman into the attack now with his right-arm spin, Shah is the new batsman. Wiseman gets one to turn extravagantly away from the lunging Joyce and Mustard whips off the bails - the Middlesex skipper is out by a few inches. Lovely flight from Wiseman, neat work from Mustard. A decent knock from Joyce though, he's laid the foundations for an assault on this mediocre-looking Durham total. Henderson, who has been promoted up the order, is off the mark with a stinging drive to long-off for one, but that's a great over from Wiseman - one wicket and just the one run, he's put his side right back in this.

9th over - Godleman lbw b Breese 20, 65-1
Durham will be looking for Breese to do a similar job to the one done by Udal for Middlesex, but Godleman does what the Durham batsmen didn't do - attack. The youngster comes down the track and hoists Breese to the extra-cover boundary and picks up one more with a paddle round the corner. A single from Breese before Durham make the breakthrough, Godleman staying back and getting himself trapped plumb in front.

8th over - 57-0 Harmison has been switched to the Pavilion End. Joyce tucks him away for one and Godleman gets up on his toes to deflect Harmison away to backward square-leg for one. Two more for Joyce with another clip to mid-wicket, before the former England opener frees his arms and crashes Harmison to the long-off fence for four. One more for Joyce with a mis-timed pull and Godleman nicks the strike with a straight drive for one. Ten from the over, Middlesex strolling this run chase so far.

7th over - 47-0 Breese into the attack in fact with his right-arm lollipops. A single from Godleman and a brace to mid-wicket from Joyce. Godleman reverse sweeps for one before Joyce works Breese to mid-wicket for another single. Godleman misses with an attempted sweep and wicket-leeper Mustard goes up for lbw, but there was no interest from Breese.

6th over - 41-0 Wide from Pollock and Joyce reaches for it and picks up one to point. A strangled lbw appeal by Pollock against Godleman, but the umpire turns it down and the batsmen run one. Joyce misses with a wild and windy woosh, that ball from Pollock just nibbling away slightly. But that's a peach of a stroke from Joyce, stepping outside off and shovelling Pollock over his shoulder for four. Six from the over, Harmison could do with a couple of wickets for his side in this next over.

5th over - 35-0 It's time for England new boy Harmison, and his first ball is 87mph and a dot. Godleman squirts his second ball away for a single before Joyce advances down the pitch to Harmison and carves him through the covers for four. That ball from Harmison was over 90mph, he's smoking. Godleman, too, looking to use his feet against Harmison and he cuts to third-man for a single. One more from Harmison's final ball, eight from the over.

4th over - 27-0 Joyce tucks Pollock round the corner for four before Godleman picks up a single. Two more for Joyce with a flick to square-leg. Pollock tightens things up with his final couple of balls, but Middlesex are looking well-set at the moment.

3rd over - 19-0 Plunkett really struggling to find his line and Godleman rocks back and slaps him through point for four. These Middlesex openers nudging and nurdling and finding the gaps and there are eight from that over. These Middlesex cheerleaders are magnificently put together... more fours please gentlemen, they're like jello on springs...

2nd over - 11-0 Godleman is 19, he's from Camden and his old man is a London cabbie, all of which makes him a rare breed in county cricket - most of his contemporaries are probably drinking WKD and daubing rude messages on a motorway flyover this afternoon. He's off the mark with a sharp single and there are three from Pollock's first over.

1st over - 8-0 Plunkett's first ball is a curving delivery down leg-side and Middlesex pick up a wide and a single. There's the first boundary of the day, Joyce using his feet against Plunkett and hoicking him through mid-wicket for four. Almost a crackerjack catch from Smith in the covers, but he cannot make it stick at full stretch. Did well to save four though, eight from the first over.

"Cannot see why Durham were 4/6 favourites with Ladbrokes. I think they're the weakest of the four teams on show. I'm a now happy Kent fan having got to the final but think Middlesex will win it this year. I'm hoping I'm wrong but I think they'll make short work of Durham's total to face us this evening. Kent's lack of a second spinner is going to catch up with them here."
Marc Perni, Orpington, in the TMS inbox

1627: Players are out in the middle and we'll be under way in a minute... Godleman and Joyce the Middlesex openers, Plunkett to take the new ball for Durham.

DURHAM INNINGS

1620: The man opposite me is from Aylesbury and he just took umbrage to Rich's email below. As the man next to him was quick to point out, "what are you going to do, stab him with pinking sheers?" Chanderpaul top-scored for Durham with 48, but the fact it came from 47 balls makes it a strange knock, especially with Pollock and other biffers down the order below them.

"Middlesex's spinners put a real stranglehold on Durham, but 'shot of the day' so far belongs to Shaun Pollock. Having joined the TMS team as a summariser during the current Test series, he nearly dislodged his erstwhile BBC Radio colleagues with that superbly-struck straight six which landed just a couple of feet short of the media centre. Advantage Middlesex?"
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

"How do I feel about qualifying for the Champions League? I am not too bothered. Until I get some plane tickets through the door, until someone actually goes and wins it and sees all that money, I couldn't care less. No-one is booking Ferraris or things like that at the minute."
Kent skipper Rob Key

"Ben, I was toying with the paper route but this is Aylesbury mate - I'd be lynched, dragged behind the twin exhausts of a Saxo and hung from the local offie's roof by a 'phat' trainer lace if I was seen reading the Guardian. Was thinking of brazenly tucking into the hard-hitting journalism of the Daily Sport."
Rich, Aylesbury, in the TMS inbox

20th over - Pollock b Henderson 15, 138-6
That's a full-bunger from Henderson and Pollock makes room and squirts him to the third-man boundary. One more for Pollock before Plunkett squeezes a single to mid-wicket. Pollock gets his left leg out of the way and drives to long-off for a couple, but he's cleaned up by Henderson's final ball. I can't help thinking Durham are well short there, and that Udal and Kartik will be fighting it out for the man-of-the-match award.

19th over - Chanderpaul c Joyce b Murtagh 48, 123-5
Chanderpaul flips Murtagh round the corner for a couple, Godleman failing to pick up cleanly and Udal doing well to back up on the boundary. A single for Chanderpaul before Pollock is deceived by a slower ball from Murtagh, getting both legs out of the way and missing with a big heave-ho. He does pick up a single, but that's Chanderpaul gone, Joyce taking a magnificent catch over his shoulder at long-off. But that's some shot from Pollock, who trots down the track and pings Murtagh straight over the top for six.

18th over - Smith b Henderson 21, 117-4
That's a big wicket for Henderson, Smith moving to outside off-stump, attempting the paddle-sweep and losing his midde and off-stumps. South African legend Shaun Pollock is the new batsman and he's off the mark with a single. Chanderpaul turns Henderson to square-leg for one to move to 45.

17th over - 112-3 Rich (see below), just take a copy of the Guardian in with you. The Guardian acts as a fig-leaf for all sorts of socially unacceptable behaviour. Chanderpaul makes room and crashes Nannes down the ground for four before picking up another boundary with a thick inside-edge. Durham kicking into the final bend..

16th over - 100-3 Malan is the new bowler and it says in my book that he bowls leg-breaks. Durham still content to nudge and nurdle when I can't help thinking they need some rat-a-tat-tat... just five runs from the over, Chanderpaul really needs to put pedal to metal.

15th over - 95-3 Just four singles from Kartik's over, and the Middlesex spin-twins may well have won the game for the Crusaders here - Kartik finishes with 0-18. Are there many Crusaders in Middlesex still? Can't see that going down too well with the local Muslim community.

"Afternoon Ben, I am stuck in my living room reading text commentary which I am thoroughly enjoying, however am dry as a Fry one liner and fancy a drip to the juicer. Any suggestions as to how I can go about this on my todd without looking either very sad, or an alcoholic?" Rich, Aylesbury, in the TMS inbox

14th over - 91-3 Smith, who's in decent nick of late, comes down the track and chips Udal to the deep mid-wicket fence. Better from Durham, they take nine from Udal's final over, but the former Hampshire man still finishes with magnificent figures of 1-18 from his four overs.

13th over - 82-3 Kartik starts his over with three dot balls. Chanderpaul shows signs of frustration, attempting a clumsy old reverse sweep. But he does get Kartik away for a four over deep mid-wicket. One more for the West Indies stalwart, but Kartik hits back well, getting one to turn sharply away from a fencing Will Smith.

12th over - 77-3 Durham need boundaries, but Udal is keeping it tighter than a camel's backside in a sandstorm. Udal drops short with his first ball but Chanderpaul is unable to get him away and there are just four singles from the over. Three overs, 1-9 from Udal, he's shaping up to be the match-winner.

11th over - 73-3 Another tight over from Kartik and Durham desperately need some urgency here or they're in trouble...

10th over - Collingwood c Godleman b Udal 35, 68-3
Collingwood perishes, chipping to deep mid-wicket where Godleman takes a fine catch on his knees. Udal doing a spectacular job for Middlesex here. James Fairweather (see below), progress indeed - what a huge variety of things you can do with your time in modern England. Punting in Cambridge, shopping at Bluewater, the cinema, taking your partner for a walk down a country lane, sitting in your living room reading cricket text commentary that you don't like on the hottest day of the year. Amazing really.

9th over - 67-2 Kartik into the attack and his first ball is cut away for four by the wristy Chanderpaul. Chester the Lion throwing some shapes beyond the boundary rope as Coldplay is piped through the Tannoy. The rest of Kartik's over is bang on the money, just three more singles and seven from the over.

8th over - 60-2 Middlesex turn to spin, it's Shaun Udal back on his old stomping ground. And that's a priceless over from Udal, just one single from it and Durham's innings comes screeching to a halt.

"Shaun Udal got a big cheer when his name was read out in the Middlesex line-up. He's still a popular player among the Hampshire fans here, many of whom feel the county should have re-signed him for this season, especially considering Shane Warne's decision not to return. Expect the locals to get behind Middlesex if Udal plays a big role here" BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

"Let's add comic genius to your apparently limitless roster of talents, Ben. I'm sure the BBC greats of the past are very proud."
James Fairweather in the TMS inbox

7th over - 59-2 Nannes back into the attack and that's not a clever start - a wide. More width from Nannes and Collingwood flays him through the covers for four. Nannes, left-handed, angles one across Colly and gets the ball past his outside edge. A couple of singles before Godleman commits a cardinal Twenty20 sin, allowing a leg-side flick from Chanderpaul to dribble through his legs and run away for four. Eleven from that over, Durham on target for a decent score at this rate.

"I did more than complete my English degree (2:1 at Sussex) without ever hearing the word 'scansion'. I just completed a year in my current job without ever hearing it either. Since you ask: I'm a sub-editor. Coren's email was the first time I'd even heard of it (had to go away and look it up)."
Yours unprofessionally, Rich Mckinley in the TMS inbox

6th over - 48-2 Chanderpaul gives the strike back to Colly and Henderson has reverted early to 'death' bowling, sending down a yorker which Colly can only gouge out for no run. Collingwood cuts hard for one before Chanderpaul gets the Middlesex fielders moving, angling his bat and picking up one to mid-wicket. Another attempted yorker from Henderson and Collingwood squeezes the ball out for one to square-leg. Good over from Henderson, slowing things up slightly.

5th over - Mustard c Godleman b Murtagh 15, 34-2
That's Durham's second wicket down, Mustard looking to hit straight and top-edging a skier to Godleman at deep mid-wicket. James Fairweather (see below) - what's up pal, mess the bed last night? Chanderpaul is the new batsman and he's off the mark with a single. Colly pushes hard outside off-stump and the ball races away to fine third-man for four. Murtagh strays onto Colly's legs and the England man owns him, flipping the ball to the square-leg rope for another four. Ten more from that over, Durham motoring.

4th over - 34-1 Henderson has replaced Nannes after just one over and Collingwood treats him with contempt, ambling down the track and clubbing him to the long-off fence for four. Shah is microphoned-up and he just said something or other but I can't remember what it was. A couple of singles from Mustard and Colly before Henderson drops short and Collingwood craves him through point for four. Ten from the over, Durham have recovered well after a rocky start.

3rd over - 24-1 Collingwood flashes hard at Murtagh and misses outside off. I should get a short-cut set up for when Collingwood is in the middle - nurdle to mid-wicket for two. Murtagh over-pitches and Colly clips him away for his first four. Collingwood drives into the covers and that's a fine stop from Godleman, who limits Durham to just one run.

2nd over - 17-1 Nannes shares the pill. His first ball is a rank long-hop and Mustard is onto it in a flash, swivelling and crashing the ball to the long-leg fence. Nannes can do a lot of things - ski, speak Japanese, blow a mean horn - but he's struggling to pitch the ball up at the moment: one wide and his next ball is short on the leg stump and Mustard puts manners on it, carting it over the fine-leg fence for six. Nannes then serves up a full-bunger and Mustard moves to 14 from just four balls, easing through the covers for four. Fifteen from the over, pressure off Durham.

1st over - Di Venuto c Kartik b Murtagh 0, Durham 0-1
Di Venuto blocks the first ball from Murtagh... and that's the breakthrough second ball, the Australian flashing hard and Kartik taking a sharp catch above his head at first slip. Fine start from form side Middlesex, and there's a big lbw shout next ball, but it struck new man Collingwood outside the line. Another big appeal next ball, but this time the England all-rounder got a bit of bat on it and Colly nurdles to mid-wicket for two runs from the final ball of the over.

1459: Right, players are out and it's Mustard and Di Venuto to open for Durham.

"It's possible to get an English degree these days without knowing what scansion is, to get a French degree without once speaking the language and to become a BBC on-line sports journalist without any discernible knowledge of boxing, cricket or rugby. That's progress, eh, Ben?"
James Fairweather in the TMS inbox

1448: Can't help feeling there could be a case for discrimination against n-power - not one of their pom-pom girls is a brunette, every one of them platinum blonde, and a couple of them are orange. Bit of chat on 5 Live last night about modern grooming... what hairless animals modern humans are - give it a couple of generations and we'll all be like seals.

1443: Right, David Lloyd is really giving this mascot race the big build-up and here it is... Kenny the Dog takes an early lead - he's from Surrey. Bomber the Spitfire is well back and we've got a mass mascot pile-up as they circle the n-power girls... short skirts, Nutty the Squirrell was on the deck a bit too long for my liking... and Kenny the Dog has romped home in first. Steeler the Dog trots home in last - he fell early, couldn't be bothered catching up...

1442: Hello folks. Durham v Middlesex up next, and I will endeavour to end every paragraph on an unstressed syllable, in honour of Times restaurant critic Giles Coren, the ruddy idiot. First though I am off for a quick nosh before the mascot race gets under way. Kent's Spitfire is apparently defending his crown. Was that an unstressed syllable? As for 'pre-GCSE scansion'? Scansion? You can complete an English degree these days without knowing what scansion is.

By Pranav Soneji

1435: For all you Ben Dirs fans, the man is in top form after reading Times food writer Giles Coren's grammar email outburst on t'web. Anyways, thanks for sticking with me, it's been emotional.

1433: Durham have won the toss and opted to have a bat. Sorry, that took us all a bit by surprise, I was all geared up for the mascot race...

"Both sides got off to good starts, but Kent's fielding was a huge factor in their progress to the final. Three run-outs and a couple of superb catches turned the crew just when Essex looked to be on top, while Tredwell bowled tightly in mid-innings and their Pakistan seam pair Arafat and Mahmood returned to bowl some superb second spells at the death."
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

1426: So Kent "seal" their place in the Twenty20 Champions League, although Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi won't be too impressed with the result. Kent, for those of you who aren't too familiar with the politics of the short game, have a few Indian Cricket League - the unauthorised rebel Twenty20 series - players among their ranks. The officially sanctioned IPL, which is at the forefront of the Champions League, does not recognise ICL players and their teams. This will rumble on for a good while yet.

20 overs: Essex 159-8: Middlebrook run out 7, Phillips ct Van Jaarsveld b Arafat 7
Middlebrook nails an off drive to deep long off, but Essex need every run possible and the batsmen run a suicidal two and a diving Middlebrook is run out by a good couple of feet thanks to good work from Geraint Jones' pink gloves. David Masters tries to fathom a huge mow, but can only manage two runs. He misses the fourth ball - a slower one from Arafat - and that effectively seals the result. Phillips then moos the next ball to Van Jaarsveld at mid-wicket. Sorry Eagles fans (that's Essex by the way), the fat lady is already singing the first verse of "Barcelona".

19 overs: Essex 154-6: Ten Doeschate b Mahmood 18
Azhar puts Kent on top when his slower ball crashes through Ten Doeschate's defence. The wheels are almost off now. Mahmood keeps things tighter than a Yorkshireman's wallet, only for new batsman James Middlebrook to cream a well-struck off drive for four. Another slower ball and Middlebrook contrives a single. Essex need 20 to win off six balls.

18 overs: Essex 147-5: Foster ct Van Jaarsveld b Arafat 9
Thumping off-drive from Foster - only problem is it lands straight in the hands of Marty VJ at cover point. Left-hander Tim Phillips is the new man at the crease, who is beaten up a quick bouncer from Arafat. Phillips then guides a wonderfully timed - and placed - late cut for two, which could have been four had Simon Cook not made a brilliant full-length dive to prevent the boundary. An Arafat slower ball somehow contrives to miss the stumps, but two runs from Ten Doeschate keeps things very lively.

17 overs: Essex 143-4
Lovely whip off his pads from Ten Doeschate for four off the returning Azhar Mahmood, who sends down a leg-side wide as the Dutchman twitches in his crease. James Foster then steps back towards the leg side and thumps an off-stump full-toss for a one-bounce four. Things aren't looking so good for the men from the Garden of England, who concede 13 from that over.

"I was at friends baby's christening two weeks ago. Rob Key was also there. I can assure you he is not rotundish. Infact he is in very good shape!"
Fiona via the TMS inbox

16 overs: Essex 130-4
Interesting choice as Rob Key turns to part-time tweaker Martin van Jaarsveld, who is promptly battered for a four and a six by new batsman Ryan ten Doeschate. The wheels are promptly being screwed back in.

15 overs: Essex 117-4: G Flower run out 17, Pettini run out 54
Brilliant one-handed stop from Martin van Jaarsveld at point sees indecision between the two batsmen and a diving Grant Flower is caught out of his ground as wicketkeeper Geraint Jones whips off the bails. Much-needed wicket for the Spitfires. James Foster is the new man at the crease - his brief will be to get Pettini on strike ASAP. Lordy! More indecision between the two batsmen sees Mark Pettini run out after a good stop from Rob Key at cover. Pettini looks forlorn as he trudges off - the wheels are close to falling off this Essex wagon.

14 overs: Essex 113-2
Pettini nudges a single and brings up his 50 off 43 balls, before rocking on the back foot to carve Tredwell past point for three. Grant Fleur whips two off his pads and things are looking rosy for the Eagles.

13 overs: Essex 105-2
Grant Flower lays into two successive fours off Darren Stevens - the first a low full toss on middle stump swept to the deep square leg boundary and the second a thumping cut to deep point. Top batting from the former Zimbabwe all-rounder.

12 overs: Essex 94-2
Tredwell continues and concedes six runs - all in singles - and Kent are back in this game. I spoke to Surrey's Chris Schofield before the start of the Twenty20 and he said conceding six-an-over is his target in the short form, so bang on from Tredders.

11 overs: Essex 88-2: Napier ct Key b Cook 5
Super Napes chips a two to deep mid-wicket but then top edges Simon Cook's next ball high into the sky, with captain Rob Key taking a quality running catch over his shoulder, Keysy is absolutely loving that, and as well he should. Alison Mitchell reckons she has never seen Keysy run that far to take a catch, which is probably a little harsh on the rotundish captain. Not-so-Super Napes trudges off with Grant Flower replacing him in the middle.

10 overs: Essex 80-1: Bopara ct and b Tredwell 29
Tredwell puts more flight than a jumbo jet with his first ball, which catches Bopara in seven minds trying to work out what to do with the ball as it comes down from the heavens. However, Tredders has his man the very next ball with a simple caught and bowled, bringing the Ravi B show to an end. However, in comes Graham Napier. Helmets at the ready from the Rose Bowl faithful.

9 overs: Essex 77-0
Bops guides the subtlest of late cuts for four, turning his bat to the finest of angles to squeeze that past wicketkeeper GO Jones. Essex are cruising like the QEII right now, as Pettini adds a smart three with a dab to fine leg.

8 overs: Essex 68-0
First sign of tweak with James Tredwell in to the attack, who bowls with plenty of flight. His fourth ball is swept for four over mid-wicket by Pettini, who inched down the track to get his foot to the pitch of the ball. Phil Tuffnell on Five Live reckons Kent will be getting a little twitchy, they want these boys back in the hutch quick-smart.

7 overs: Essex 59-0
Little less brutal from Si Cook's over, six runs via ones and twos are farmed to various parts of the Rose Bowl.

"When the Twenty20 Cup was launched in 2003, several counties tried various marketing gimmicks at their home games. But there's no sign of any bouncy castles, pitchside jacuzzis, or speed dating here today, while unlike Finals Day in 2003, there is no Atomic Kitten concert. However, the mascot derby - which has become a bit of a fixture - will take place between the two semi-finals. And between the second semi and the final, for the first time ever, there is a mascot dance-off. No, really."
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

6 overs: Essex 53-0
"Majorca" expert Ryan McLaren comes into the attack, but like Bopara cares, he smashes him for two fours, the second a beautiful pick-up from a slower ball, which sails over the deep mid-on boundary for a one-bounce four. Five Live reporter Alison Mitchell is extolling the virtue of Graham Napier's biceps, which have been honed with a little help from a Gladiator. I hope it's Wolf, he was my favourite, that receding long perm was a sight to behold. Another good over for the 'Sex.

5 overs: Essex 40-0
Sure enough, Ravi Bops makes me look like a prize fool, caressing the most picture-perfect off drive off new bowler Simon Cook for four. His next boundary isn't quite as aesthetically pleasing, but who cares about style when you've got Mr Stanford's hospitality to look forward to? A thick inside edge off a shot intended to go through cover races to the deep square leg boundary. The early afternoon pints are starting to take an effect on the Rose Bowl faithful. Expect to hear something about someone asleep under the Daily Telegraph soon...

4 overs: Essex 30-0
Smart bit of fielding from Arafat, who hits the stumps as Bops and Pettini scamper for a quick single, but the third umpire says the Essex captain was well within his ground, so the pint which accompanies every third man decision returns a half-empty "not out". Ravi B (who sounds like he raps for Cypress Hill) is not looking his fluent best at the mo - he'll make me eat my words now.

3 overs: Essex 26-0
Bish! Bash! Bosh! Three successive fours - two from Pettini through the off side and one courtesy of leg byes, which just evades Geraint Jones' outstretched left hand, which is clad in a pink glove, which is also the name of an old Pulp song. Good over for Essex, no doubt the unit that is Super Napes is gagging to get into the action.

2 overs: Essex 13-0
Kent open up with an all-Pakistani attack as Yasir Arafat accompanies Azhar from the other end. Pettini scythes a four at deep mid-wicket courtesy of some wobbly fielding from Darren Stevens, who mistimes his side and fumbles the ball over the boundary. Ravi Bops doubles up with a neat flick to deep square leg.

1 over: Essex 3-0
Azhar Mahmood takes the new ball and has Pettini jumping around the crease before beating him with a belter of a delivery, which nibbles off the seam outside off stump. Three singles off the opening over, nice start from Kent.

1300: Essex openers Mark Pettini and Ravi Bopara walk out to the middle.

"It is bad enough that Hampshire aren't in the Twenty20 finals but why does a Durham fan with an oversized car (clearly compensating!!) feel the need to have blocked me into my own driveway? Any suggestions on a course of action?"
A very disgruntled Adam, just down the road from the Rose Bowl on the TMS inbox

I say buy a tin of yellow paint, get the brushes out and decorate the outside of your driveway with double yellow lines. Then stick a piece of paper demanding 500 as a fine for parking where he/she doesn't park. Laugh at the elaborateness of the evil plan. Laugh harder if he/she pays up.

KENT - 173-7

19.1 overs: Kent 162-7 Kemp b Napier 4
"Beautiful holiday resort - Majorca" says Jason Gillespie in the commentary box as Graham Napier cleans up Justin Kemp with a, yup, a yorker. New man Ryan McLaren plays a deft fine sweep to an attempted yorker for four, before scrambling back for two very ugly runs. McLaren then carves the last ball of the innings for four over fine leg. So 173 will be the score to chase.

19 overs: Kent 162-6: Azhar ct Flower b Bopara 24
It's all a bit "bitty" from the Kent boys, exchanging singles and nothing more. The frustration is all too much for Azhar, who flat bats Bopara - only to find Grant Flower's safe hands at long on.

18 overs: Kent 155-5
Brilliant fielding from Tim Phillips on the long-on boundary, saving two runs from an Azhar scythe off Kaneria, before Mark Pettini dives to prevent the next ball from crashing into the deep extra cover boundary. Danny K is still chucking the ball up, which goes to show how confident he is of his abilities. Classy tweakage.

"James Foster's wicketkeeping has been world-class so far, but Essex have let themselves down with a couple of errors in the outfield - everyone here thought Napier was standing too far inside the boundary for that dropped catch. It's a big, fast outfield here which will take no prisoners. Meanwhile, the cold drinks are going fast here in the media centre - Nasser Hussain just beat me to the chiller cabinet for a bottle of water."
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

17 overs: Kent 146-5: Stevens st Foster b Bopara 29
Is there a better keeper in this land than James Foster? The former England stumper pulls off yet another brilliant leg-side stumping, whipping off the bails as Darren Stevens stretches to get his back foot back into the crease. The ball is called a wide off Bopara - who isn't exactly slow - which just goes to show how good that dismissal was. Justin Kemp thumps his first ball for four through mid-wicket, but Maurice Chambers grasses a high catch off Mahmood two balls later. And to make matters worse, Azhar/Lou cuts the nxt ball for four.

16 overs: Kent 132-4:
Azhar/Lou crossbats a Phillips full-toss just over Graham Napier's head, although Super Napes get fingertips to the ball before it thudded into the sightscreen for four. Couple more for Azhar and Stevo.

15 overs: Kent 123-4:
Darren Stevens smashes a square cut for four off Bopara before exchanging a few singles. Kent need a few more big shots to get that score up to the 170s at least.

14 overs: Kent 115-4:
Danish K back into the attack and he keeps the score on a tight leash. Compatriot Azhar Mahmood is the new man at the crease, who according to Jason Gillespie on Five Live, is a spitting image for Lou Bega of Mambo Number 5 time. Anyone name all the girls' names in that song (without the help of t'internet)? I remember Monica and Rita (that's what I need).

13 overs: Kent 112-4: Van Jaarsveld ct Phillips 10
Ravi Bopara's skiddy seamers now and Marty VJ carves a boundary through mid-wicket, shifting his front foot well out of the way before bringing his bat down like an executioner's axe for a superb four. But Ravi Bops gets his man with the next ball as VJ guides a mishit pull to Phillips at mid-wicket.

12 overs: Kent 102-3:
Stevo gently nudges a drive straight past Middlebrook, but times it so sweetly it beats long off for four. Arlo White and Jason Gillespie in the Five Live commentary box reckon it's the bat, sorry Stevo. But good comeback from Middlers, who keeps it tight for the rest of the over.

11 overs: Kent 97-3:
Quality sweep from Stevens, who fetches a ball outside off stump and guides it over square leg for four. Marty VJ and Stevo exchange singles and a two to kickstart the scoring rate again.

10 overs: Kent 87-3:
It's all about the tweakers right now and Tim Phillips is in the proceedings, and with two new batsmen at the crease, the scoring has slowed down. Tidy over from the left-arm spinner, just five runs from that. Interesting to see all three tweakers getting plenty of turn.

9 overs: Kent 82-3: Denly st Foster b Middlebrook 36
James Middlebrook is in the attack and the offie has the dangerous Denly stumped as he waltzes down the track, only to be beaten by a ball which turns a good six inches and more smart work from James Foster sees the opener walking back to the hutch. In comes Darren Stevens, who gets off the mark with a thick edge. Good over from Middlebrook.

8 overs: Kent 76-2: Arafat c Chambers b Kaneria 10
Arafat has no clue how to play Kaneria's googly and he pegs it down the wicket in an attempt to smash his compatriot to the Isle of Wight, only to completely miss the ball. Foster whips the bails off as Arafat sprawls to make his ground - which he does - just. But Danish gets his revenge the very next ball as Arafat chips a catch to Mozza Chambers at long off. In comes Martin van Jaarsveld. Now he can lump a cricket ball.

7 overs: Kent 72-1:
Six overs up and the fielding restrictions are lifted. Maurice Chambers is called into the attack and the dreadlocked seamer is smashed for a fine square cut for four by Arafat. Mozza then beats the Pakistan all-rounder with a slow full toss which thuds into his thigh pad, hence a muted lbw appeal.

6 overs: Kent 64-1: Key bowled Kaneria 20
Twirler Danish Kaneria is on and his first ball is reverse swept with utter disdain by Key for four, before dancing down the pitch for a straight boundary the next ball. But the Great Dane gets his revenge with his third ball as he attempts another reverse sweep, only to completely miss the ball, which careers into his leg stump. In comes Yasir Arafat, who gets off the mark first ball with a push to mid-off and then a double dose of luck for Denly, who survives a huge appeal for lbw as the ball richochets off his pads and races away for four leg-byes. The final ball does not trouble the scorers.

5 overs: Kent 50-0
Wallop! Take that Davey boy - Denly swings through a length delivery from Masters straight over the bowler's head for a four of epic proportions. Masters then beats Key, who attempts an agricultural mow to leg side, and keeper Foster for a fortunate bye. Denly then adds insult to injury with a fine edge for four. Kent are cooking with the aid of large Russian gas reserves right now.

"Denly has got the crowd going with those two first-over boundaries - the first almost hit BBC Radio 5 Live's boundary reporter Kevin Howells, who I must thank for lending me a power cable to save me from sitting here all day in front of a dead BBC laptop"
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener at the Rose Bowl

4 overs: Kent 40-0
SuperNapes attempts a slower ball bouncer, only for Denly to watch the ball limp way past his leg stump. A Denly drive finds more outside edge than middle, but enough willow on the ball to guide the ball to the vacant cover boundary for four. Denly opens up his body and gets his bat under a short ball on the offside to smash a six over the deep point boundary. Good comeback from Napes the very next ball, a yorker right at Denly's feet.

3 overs: Kent 28-0
Key kneels down and guides a straight Masters delivery over his left shoulder for four, a shot likely to send any MCC member into cardiac arrest had it been played 10 years ago. Tidy over from seamer Masters, who concedes three more runs.

2 overs: Kent 21-0
Twenty20 Superman Graham Napier is into the attack and Denly guides his second ball to the deep point boundary for three, with Maurice Chambers making a sprawling dive to save the boundary. The robust Rob Key dances down the wicket to Napier's third ball, but is beaten all ends up by a nice outswinger. The Kent captain chips a couple of runs to mid-wicket before a flowing cover drive for four off the last ball. More style than David Gower waltzing down a catwalk.

1 over: Kent 11-0
David Masters takes the new cherry...or whatever a new white ball is called and immediately bowls a wide. Denly dispatches a neat square cut for a boundary, a really good cricket shot as it wasn't particularly a bad ball. Wicketkeeper James Foster decides to stand up to the stumps, only for Denly to carve a thick top edge for four over where the slips would have been. A smart piece of keeping from Foster sees the keeper whip the bails off to a leg-side wide, only for the third umpire to rule Denly's back foot was well within its ground. Good start for the Spitfires.

1128: TMS reporter Alison Mitchell has been in serious training - she is in the running for the mascot race in between the semi-finals. Twenty20 finals day offers more entertainment than your average royal gala night with Kenny Lynch and Lenny Bennett. The teams are out - we're in business. Rob Key and Joe Denly open the batting for Kent.

1125:

see also
Twenty20 Cup photos
26 Jul 08 |  Cricket
Twenty20 winners to face England
25 Jul 08 |  Cricket
Twenty20 players to watch
25 Jul 08 |  Counties
Bopara eyes Twenty20 prizes
24 Jul 08 |  Essex
How to win at Twenty20
12 Jun 08 |  Skills


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.