FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY FINAL, Lord's:
Essex 218-5 (48.5 overs) beat Kent 214 all out (50 overs) by 5 wickets
Essex captured the FP Trophy with a five-wicket win over Kent at Lord's.
Kent opted to bat but lost both openers within six overs, and despite Martin van Jaarsveld's battling 58 they were struggling at 138-7 in the 37th over.
Ryan McLaren hit 63, sharing 66 with Yasir Arafat to take them to 214, but Essex were coasting at 60-1 in reply.
Robbie Joseph ousted Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook in consecutive overs, but veteran Grant Flower hit an unbeaten 70 to seal victory with seven balls left.
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1830: The champagne flows as Essex collect the trophy. It may not have had the razzmatazz of Twenty20 finals day, but the domestic one-day final is always a special day in the English cricket calendar - and we've had an exciting game which swung both ways on several occasions.
Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to bring you live text commentary on Scotland-England on Monday (but listen out for full commentary on TMS) - but normal service will be resumed on Wednesday for the Twenty20 international between England and South Africa. Take care of yourselves, and we'll see you then.
"It was a nice toss to lose - but the bowlers were fantastic as we knew Kent were going to vcome at us. Grant Flower stood out in the run chase, but that was the epitome of a team performance"
Essex captain Mark Pettini
"There's no point in getting to finals if you're not going to win them. We batted appallingly, but credit to David Masters and Graham Napier who were right on it from ball one. We were 30, 40 or 50 runs short but Grant Flower batted really well. Our batting let us down - it doesn't get any simpler than that"
Kent captain Rob Key
1822: The umpires collect their medals from a phalanx of bosses from the ECB, MCC and the sponsors - followed by Grant Flower, who is man of the match. Not a difficult call, that. Losers get their medals, followed by the winners.
"Grant Flower's been a superstar for us, but Ryan ten Doeschate also had a hell of a knock for us"
Essex wicketkeeper James Foster on TMS
"We made some early inroads, and we thought 220-230 would have been a par score - so we got the heavy roller on and went for it. We've had a lot of supporters here at Lord's, and thankfully they can go home with smiles on their faces"
Essex opener Jason Gallian on TMS
"The man everyone's been talking about for his batting - Graham Napier - didn't even get a knock today!"
Christopher Martin-Jenkins on TMS
"On a good pitch, you don't always know what a good score is - Twenty20 cricket has a lot to answer for now. But Essex's running between the wickets, and the pressure they put on the fielding side is as good as anyone's - now they have atrophy to reward them. I'm really pleased for them"
Paul Nixon on TMS
ESSEX WIN FRIENDS PROVIDENT TROPHY BY FIVE WICKETS
1809 - Essex 218-5 (48.5 overs)
Mahmood bowls, Flower pulls a single to mid-wicket. A late cut by ten Doeschate for a single brings the scores level. Flower cautiously defends a slower ball. Essex's troops are assembled on the balcony, all on their feet except Goochie. An inswinger is dug out by Flower - eight balls left, still just one run needed. Then a high full toss is despatched to cow corner for four - Essex win by five wickets with seven balls to spare.
1805 - Essex 212-5 (48 overs)
McLaren bowls, ten Doeschate singles, eight needed. Flower hoists a single to long-off. Ten Doeschate digs out a yorker, dot ball - seven needed from 15 balls. Ten Doeschate lifts one to leg, it falls safely between two fielders and they run two. Five needed, some Essex fans have taken their shirts off. Off-drive to mid-off, dot ball. Ten Doeschate whips the last ball through mid-wicket for two .Three needed from two overs - surely they can't mess it up from here?
1801 - Essex 206-5 (47 overs)
Mahmood returns, but ten Doeschate is seeing it as big as a football now and blasts him through wide mid-on for four. Essex fans in big voice. A single to fine leg, and it's just 13 (in effect 12) from 22 needed now. Flower drops the next ball at his feet and they jog through for a single. A low full-toss is played along the ground by ten Doeschate to mid-off for a single. Another Flower single, just 10 needed now. Ten Doeschate tips-and-runs the last ball for a single - nine (in effect eight) needed from 18 balls now.
1757 - Essex 197-5 (46 overs)
Ten Doeschate on-drives Arafat for four to cow corner, and not even a despairing dive from van Jaarsveld (who nearly impales himself on a couple of stray water bottles) can prevent the four. After a dot ball, ten Doeschate prods the ball out, calls for a run, is sent back but then Arafat, following though, misses the stumps with his throw! A short ball is hooked to square leg by the Dutchman, and another well-run two ensues. Ten Doeschate fences and misses... but it's a wide! 19 needed now (or 18 if they aren't bowled out). Another lbw appeal is ruled out for height - dot ball. Ten Doeschate dabs a single to leg - 18 needed from 24 balls.
1752 - Essex 189-5 (45 overs)
Ten Doeschate steers a quick single to mid-on. Then we have a rare dot ball as McLaren gets a bit of late reverse swing! Flower swings-and-misses. He's then denied again by a smart Key stop at cover. Flower guides the fifth ball to mid-wicket, and a well-run two brings him back on strike. Last ball goes straight to point - 26 needed from 30 balls.
1748 - DROPPED CATCH - Essex 186-5 (44 overs)
Arafat back into the attack, ten Doeschate opens the face for a single to third man. Flower guides a single off his legs to fine leg. The next ball is short - pulled to fine leg - and put down by Stevens! Has he just dropped the FP Trophy? "Darren Stevens is safe as houses - I've just lost my mortgage", says The Badger on TMS. Another pull to mid-wicket brings another single. Ten Doeschate singles to third man off the final delivery. 29 needed off 36 balls.
1744 - Essex 181-5 (43 overs)
Stevens off, McLaren returns - after a single from ten Doeschate, Flower's "dab to third man" shot has been cut off by a specifically-placed fielder. There's then an lbw appeal, which hits Flower high above the knee-roll and is turned down for height. They run one. Ten Doeschate finally penetrates the infield and they run two to deep cover. A single to third man ensures the Dutchman keeps the strike - 34 needed off 42 balls.
1740 - Essex 176-5 (42 overs)
Joseph's last over, and Flower drops him down to Mahmood at third man for two. The Zimbabwean then lifts it over extra cover for four. But then Flower nearly plays on to Joseph's last ball, which luckily lands safely - he finishes with 3-40 from his 10 overs.
1736 - Essex 170-5 (41 overs)
Stevens continues for his eighth over - after this, Stevens and Tredwell combined will have taken up the "fifth" bowler's allocation. The singles and twos continue to flow, with Flower reaching his half-century off 73 balls. Five from the over - but that's exactly what Essex need.
1733 - Essex 165-5 (40 overs)
New batsman is Ryan ten Doeschate, who is off the mark with a single to leg off his first ball. Flower gets an edge, but it's safely to third man for a single. Ten Doeschate nudges another single off his legs, then Flower nudges one to wide mid-on to keep the strike. 50 needed off 60 balls - even I can work out the run-rate required there...
1728 - WICKET - Foster c Jones b Joseph 18 - Essex 161-5 (39.1 overs)
But suddenly the pendulum swings back towards Kent as Foster nibbles at Joseph and gets an edge to his opposite number Jones behind the timbers!
1727 - Essex 161-4 (39 overs)
After another Flower single, Foster tries to imitate his partner's "shovel over the shoulder" shot but can only run a single. After more rotation, Foster delicatedly dabs it throughy the vacant slip area for two.
1724 - Essex 155-4 (38 overs)
Joseph continues for his eighth over, Foster rotates the strike with a leg bye. Flower superbly square-cuts for four and nearly hits a steward sat just outside the boundary rope (and looking the other way). Key then has a chase on at mid-on as Flower guides Joseph through the leg side and they run three.
1720 - Essex 147-4 (37 overs)
Key bellows out some fresh orders to his fielders as Stevens continues for his sixth over of military medium. Flower improvises by shovelling it over his left shoulder for four to fine leg.
"This has been a good advert for the 50-over game today, as it's ebbed and flowed throughout"
Dominic Cork on TMS
1717 - Essex 143-4 (36 overs)
Kent need a wicket, so Tredwell's off and with Key keen to keep Mahmood and Arafat up his sleeve for the death, Joseph returns. Flower calmly tips-and-runs a single, Foster steers one through the covers, Flower dabs a two to third man, then another tip-and-run single brings up the fifty partnership.
1713 - Essex 138-4 (35 overs)
A delicate late cut from Flower brings a single to Walker (who's becoming a bit of a ball-magnet) at third man. Foster knocks a single off his legs, another Flower late cut brings one more.
1710 - Essex 135-4 (34 overs)
Flower guides Tredwell to burly sub fielder Matt Walker ("the only man from Whitstable who doesn't like oysters", says Kevin Howells on TMS) at long-on for a single, then a lofted reverse-sweep from Foster sails away for four. Two more singles, seven off the over.
1707 - Essex 128-4 (33 overs)
McLaren makes a good stop at backward point as Foster hammers a square-cut and they run just one. Flower pushes another single to take him to 23, but it's a good over from Stevens.
1704 - Essex 126-4 (32 overs)
We finally have some spin as James Tredwell replaces Joseph, and his first ball has Jones whipping off the bails for a stumping and square-leg umpire Nigel Llong going upstairs to the third ump. "Not out" is the verdict. Accumulation remains the order of the day for Flower'n'Foster, two singles from the over are scored while Flower (219 ODIs to his name) fails with an attempted reverse sweep.
1701 - Essex 124-4 (31 overs)
The F-Men keep rotating the strike with singles, but Stevens is still bowling a pretty good line and length, until a full-bunger is punished by being whipped through mid-wicket for four. "First boundary for eight overs," Bill Frindall informs TMS listeners.
"Flower has been there, seen it and done it, but this is a massive stage for Foster to showcase himself as a batsman"
Alex Tudor on TMS
1658 - Essex 116-4 (30 overs)
Still no sign of spin from Kent as Joseph continues, but Flower is taking singles at will here. Foster's edge beats the two remaining slips and they run a single. Another couple of wides advance the score
1653 - Essex 112-4 (29 overs)
Flower bunts Stevens to third man and they run two, then he works a single to leg. Despite another single apiece from the Essex pair, Graham Gooch is still biting his nails on the balcony.
1650 - Essex 107-4 (28 overs)
Joseph still has three slips in for Foster, who swishes and misses. A half-hearted lbw appeal yields a couple of leg byes. A rising delivery has Foster in a bit of trouble, then he works a single to the livewire Denly at deep square leg. A Flower single rounds off the over.
1647 - Essex 103-4 (27 overs)
Change of bowling as McLaren is off after seven overs and Darren Stevens is on with some right-arm medium pace. Just a single apiece for Foster and Flower from the over.
"Grant Flower is perfect for this situation - no-one can forget that brilliant 90-odd not out against England five years ago which took Zimbabwe from 16-4 to 196-6 to win at Trent Bridge"
Olivier Kapo in the TMS inbox
1644 - Essex 101-4 (26 overs)
Matt Walker is on the field, subbing for Azhar Mahmood. Key has three slips in for Joseph, and after a couple of singles, a legside wide brings up the hundred (to some sparse cheers from Essex fans, who appear to be outnumbered by their Kent counterparts). Flower guides him for a single to super-sub Walker at third man.
1639 - Essex 97-4 (25 overs)
Foster is off the mark with a single, McLaren strays with a wide and Flower rotates the strike again. The "mad staring eyes" of Joseph are contagious - Foster looks wide-eyed through his helmet as he faces up to McLaren and sees off the rest of the over. Essex are 97-4 - and unbelievably, the England Lions are 97-4 too, in reply to South Africa's 209...
Live scorecard: England Lions v South Africa
1634 - Essex 94-4 (24 overs)
New batsman is keeper James Foster - he's hit on the pad first ball, but umpire Sharp shakes his head and signals a leg-bye. Arguably a closer shout than Bopara's... and Hawk-Eye thinks it was clipping leg stump (though it thought Bopara's was missing leg stump). The Kent supporters have really found their voice now, as every play-and-miss is greeted with an "oooh". A wicket maiden for Joseph.
1630 - WICKET - Cook c Stevens b Joseph 33 - Essex 93-4 (23.1 overs)
Cook fences at a wide delivery from Joseph (which would have been a wide if he'd left it). Only Cook knows what he was doing with it, but he guides it straight to the diving Stevens at cover point and Joseph has struck again! And he goes wild again!
1629 - Essex 93-3 (23 overs)
Suddenly, Essex hearts are in mouths as Cook plays and misses at McLaren. Simon Mann on TMS notes that umpire George Sharp "is not having a great day" after watching the replay of the Bopara lbw. Cook nudges a single off his hip, then Flower is off the mark with a sweet cover-driven four.
"Bopara gone - Game on!"
FleetJackHobbs on 606
Join the debate on 606
1625 - Essex 88-3 (22 overs)
New batsman is Grant Flower, and Joseph has suddenly found a bit of nip to beat the Zimbabwean's outside edge. More staring eyes from Joseph, and Cap'n Key responds by sticking in four slips for the last delivery.
1622 - WICKET - Bopara lbw b Joseph 7 - Essex 88-3 (21.2 overs)
Arafat off, Joseph returns - having switched to the Pavilion End. Cook nibbles a single past the solitary slip to third man, then there's a loud shout for lbw and Bopara's gone! Joseph has mad staring eyes, he looks as shocked as Hercule Poirot was when he first realised that "they all did it"... and he gives Jones a ferocious high-five.
1619 - Essex 87-2 (21 overs)
Cook turns McLaren off his legs for a single. Bopara sees off the rest of the over - no hurry from the England pair here.
1616 - Essex 86-2 (20 overs)
While Goochie speaks about the importance of "concentration" at the crease, a two and a single from Bopara keep the scoreboard ticking over. Cook keeps the strike with a single - that's it for the powerplays and the fielding restrictions.
1612 - Essex 82-2 (19 overs)
Essex are just keeping in touch with the required run-rate here, but Key keeps two slips in for McLaren as Cook clips one off his legs, comes back for two and he just makes his ground in time (without reference to the third umpire). The bustling McLaren strays with two successive wides, then fails to deliver the ball while in his delivery stride. Meanwhile, the fact that the big-hitting Graham Napier is wearing shorts on the pavilion balcony suggests he isn't slated to come in any time soon.
"I don't normally bother writing in to TMS but I felt sorry for you sitting there thinking no one's engrossed in your text. At least you know I'm watching, while listening to Spurs fight it out with Boro, it doesn't get a lot better. I'm hoping to get a double win with Essex as well to put me in a good mood for a few bevvies tonight"
Dave, Essex, in the TMS inbox
1606 - Essex 78-2 (18 overs)
Arafat replaces Mahmood, and Cook turns him off his legs for two to mid-wicket, but Goochie is concerned that his young protege is looking a little uncertain at the crease. However, a fluent cover drive brings Cook another four, despite a despairing dive into the rope by McLaren. A single takes him to 26.
1602 - Essex 71-2 (17 overs)
An lbw appeal against Cook, mostly from the crowd, as he gets a thick inside edge onto the pad from McLaren and they run one. Bopara finally nudges the last ball away for a couple. Kevin Howells and Goochie on TMS, looking ahead to Monday's Scotland-England ODI, recall famous Scottish cricketers including Mike Denness and Brian Hardie. (They could possibly add the legendary "Bodyline" series skipper, Douglas Jardine, who was born in India but was of Scottish descent).
1558 - Essex 68-2 (16 overs)
Key takes the third powerplay as Bopara drives Mahmood back over his head, but a tumbling Arafat restricts them to a single. Cook nudges one to third man.
1554 - Essex 66-2 (15 overs)
Bopara steers McLaren for a single to leg towards the Grandstand - then Cook gets a streaky edge between slip and gully, and it shoots away for four.
"Essex need to keep the score moving with singles, even if they're not playing big shots"
Graham Gooch on TMS
1550 - Essex 61-2 (14 overs)
New batsman is Ravi Bopara, and he's off the mark with a single. However, I'm concerned at the lack of interest from you guys on the texts and e-mails. We've just had a text from someone in the crowd at Lord's... who's texting in to Ben Dirs on the Olympics live text!
1546 - WICKET - Gallian b Mahmood 28 - Essex 60-2 (13.2 overs)
Gallian's defiance is ended as after a wide from Mahmood, the opener gets an inside edge onto his stumps as he tries to cover-drive. Turning point?
1543 - Essex 59-1 (13 overs)
Needing inspiration from somewhere, Joseph is removed from the attack after one over and the medium-fast Ryan McLaren is brought on. His first ball disappears for another Gallian single, but that's a tidy start from McLaren - if he were to get among the wickets here, he'd be a good early shout for man of the match. Assuming Gallian doesn't bat through!
1539 - Essex 58-1 (12 overs)
Mahmood switches ends as Arafat's off. But another no-ball from Mahmood brings another free hit. "Rob Key will be doing his nut here", The Badger observes. The free hit ball is a slower ball, which Gallian turns to mid-wicket for two. A misfield allows the former Lancashire man another single, he's dominated proceedings here.
1534 - Essex 53-1 (11 overs)
Umpire Llong signals the second powerplay, and we have our first change of bowling as Robbie Joseph takes over from the Nursery End, immediately conceding a single to Gallian. In the time it takes him to walk back to his mark, the men's 100m final takes place in Beijing, and Simon Mann on TMS wonders how Michael Carberry (see earlier) would have done... Joseph sends down a wide, then Cook delicately pulls him to mid-wicket for a couple. An even better shot sees Cook clip Joseph off his legs for four, and it's not been a good first over for the Antiguan-born Joseph.
1529 - Essex 45-1 (10 overs)
Still Arafat from the Pavilion End, and Cook deftly turns him off his legs to mid-wicket for a couple. Paul "The Badger" Nixon on TMS doesn't think the Kent attack have tested Cook too much yet, they haven't asked him to use his feet much. And just as I type that, Arafat has Cook playing and missing! But a brutal square-cut brings the England man's first boundary.
1525 - Essex 39-1 (9 overs)
Cook nudges his first ball to third man for a single. Not entirely sure of his place in England's ODI side (despite being in the squad), a good knock today would do him no harm at all. Gallian is watchful, before wristily steering a no-ball through cow corner for four. We have our first free hit of the final, but it comes to nothing as Gallian digs out a yorker. He has 24.
1519 - Essex 32-1 (8 overs)
England opener Alastair Cook emerges in the slightly unfamiliar role of number three. Arafat has a packed off-side field, with just a straight mid-on and a long leg on the leg side, but Gallian's attempted pull goes straight to Key at mid-on. First maiden for Kent.
1515 - WICKET - Pettini lbw b Mahmood 10 - Essex 32-1 (7 overs)
Gallian on-drives Arafat and Key gets another cheer for another diving stop as they run two. Another couple to mid-wicket, then after a single from Gallian, Pettini pulls out an astonishing flick through mid-wicket - similar to Kevin Pietersen's "flamingo" shot on one leg - which sails away for a first-bounce four. But Pettini's innovation is ended when Mahmood traps him in front with one that nips back up the slope, and Kent have a breakthrough.
1510 - Essex 23-0 (6 overs)
CMJ notes it is now overcast at Lord's - but Kent really need an early wicket. Gallian dabs a single to leg, while batting coach Graham Gooch looks close to narcolepsy on the Essex balcony, sat next to 12th man Tony Palladino. Pettini tries to wake him up by bludgeoning a short ball through mid-wicket for two. Arafat has a fairly loud lbw shout, but it looks as though the skipper got a slight inside edge.
1506 - Essex 20-0 (5 overs)
Umpire George Sharp takes another look at the ball, and this time they'll change it. Mahmood polishes the new one with his fingertips - but with some inevitability, once a third slip is removed, Gallian edges wide of second slip and they run two. A fortuitous edge brings a single to leg - the third slip is back in for Pettini. The skipper squeezes a single past mid-on, where his opposite number Key exchanges a bit of banter with the crowd as the batsmen run two. A stunning diving stop by Stevens at cover then stops what looked a certain four - best fielding of the day so far, I'd wager.
1500 - Essex 15-0 (4 overs)
Pettini prods a single down to Denly at deep square leg, then the young Kent opener is called into action again as Gallian turns one off his legs and they run another single. Essex not looking in any danger so far.
1456 - Essex 13-0 (3 overs)
If I were Azhar Mahmood, I'd be running in with even more effort than normal after throwing his wicket away in the manner he did, just when Kent needed mid-innings stability. Gallian is able to leave a couple outside off stump - then we have our first wide of the day as Mahmood strays even wider. Gallian then steers a four past mid-off, and umpire Nigel Llong already feels the ball may be out of shape, after just 17 deliveries. Is this a record? After all that, the ball is not changed - and Mahmood spears down another wide! It may not be his day.
1451 - Essex 7-0 (2 overs)
Yasir Arafat, Kent's overseas player (as opposed to their Kolpakkers and UK or EU passport-holders) takes the second over, and he has three slips for Gallian. But a loose and wide delivery is disparagingly square-cut for four. A nudged single ensures he retains the strike.
1447 - Essex 2-0 (1 over)
Azhar Mahmood takes the new ball for Kent, and Pettini calms Essex nerves with a single to fine leg off the first ball of the innings. Gallian does likewise with a single to Cap'n Key at mid-on.
1442: We're nearly ready to get under way again. Still none of that rain promised by the BBC Weather Centre. Mark Pettini and Jason Gallian opening up for Essex.
1403: Thankfully, Essex's impressive over-rate means we don't get a shortened interval - play will be back under way at around 1445. I'm off for a sandwich - back with you soon. Meanwhile, the new Premier League season is under way with Caroline Cheese in the live text chair, if you want to take a look.
Live text - Premier League, with Caroline CHeese
1400 - WICKET - McLaren b Bopara 63 - Kent 214 all out (50 overs)
Bopara to take the last over - McLaren pulls him straight to Gallian at mid-wicket, who puts the catch down just below waist height! They run one on the drop, bringing Joseph on strike with five balls left. Pettini brings his four infielders in tight on the single, but an ungainly swing to leg brings Joseph to leg and McLaren back on strike. McLaren swings and misses. Three balls left. He hits the next one down the ground to long-off, but they can only manage a single. What can Joseph do now? Two balls left, Joseph taps the ball back up the pitch, runs for what looks like a risky single and makes his ground as Bopara's throw misses the stumps. So, McLaren to face the last ball. He swings, misses, Bopara hits, and the South African's brave innings is ended off the final delivery. Kent finish on 214 - will it be enough?
1356 - Kent 210-9 (49 overs)
McLaren can only jab ten Doeschate away for a single, bringing last man Robbie Joseph on strike. By all accounts, he's number 11 entirely on merit in this side, most of whom can bat to a certain degree. Joseph plays and misses at the fifth ball of the over. He digs out the final ball, McLaren sends him back so he will face the final over.
1353 - WICKET - Tredwell run out 0 - Kent 208-9 (48.2 overs)
New batsman is James Tredwell, who looks like he goes to the same hairdressers as fellow veteran off-spinner Jeremy Snape (now on the South Africa coaching staff). Ten Doeschate is surprisingly preferred to "death bowler" Napier, and McLaren slices him over short third man for four. A good yorker is dug out by McLaren, they come back for a suicidal second and poor old Tredwell is run out without facing, trying to keep McLaren on strike!
1349 - WICKET - Arafat b Bopara 27 - Kent 204-8 (48 overs)
McLaren goes aerial, lifting Bopara over mid-on for four to bring up his fifty. A well-run two through the covers takes Kent past 200, which looked inconceivable earlier today as the wickets were tumbling. A reverse-sweep brings another two, a heave to deep mid-wicket yields only a single, then Arafat tries one outrageous shot too many as he steps across his stumps and he is clean bowled trying to work Bopara to leg.
1345 - Kent 195-7 (47 overs)
Kaneria's last over - and Arafat blasts him just wide of Pettini at extra cover for four - that's the fifty stand. A single brings McLaren on strike, he sweeps to deep backward square leg where a ten Doeschate misfield allows two. McLaren firmly drives to long-off for a single, and Kaneria's spell is ended.
1342 - Kent 187-7 (46 overs)
There's a bit of a break while McLaren pops his lens back in - which puts the brakes on what has been a very rapid (ie impressive) over-rate from Essex. When they finally resume, McLaren and Arafat resume the single life, while Bopara advances the score with a no-ball for a full toss above waist height. (That's the first no-ball or wide of the innings, which may help explain the fast over-rate). McLaren gives it a bit of long handle, but edges it just over backward point for two.
1336 - Kent 177-7 (45 overs)
Arafat smears Kaneria through square leg for a single, he and McLaren continue to milk the leg-spinner for singles and the odd two - we're at one of those phases where both sides seem happy for singles to be the order of the day. McLaren urgently waves to the Kent balcony - he appears to have lost a contact lens! And astonishingly, ten Doeschate finds it!
1334 - Kent 173-7 (44 overs)
While Simon Mann on TMS discusses the relative sprinting speeds of Usain Bolt, Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Hampshire's Michael Carberry (reckoned to be the quickest on the county circuit by The Badger, who also fondly recalls a running race between Devon Malcolm and Winston Benjamin), McLaren paddles Bopara for a couple and then dabs a quick single. Arafat continues to pick up the ones and twos, but the boundaries have dried up a little. (Or a lot, to be honest).
1331 - Kent 167-7 (43 overs)
Arafat steers a couple to long-off as Kaneria is rapidly through his eighth over. Arafat then off-drives but a relay throw from the cover boundary keeps them to two.
1328 - Kent 162-7 (42 overs)
After a single from McLaren, Arafat cuts down to third man but some sharp fielding by Wright restricts them to one. A mix-up sees McLaren send non-striker Arafat back, he would have been run out by yards but ten Doeschate's throw is wild. "Lord's is bathed in sunshine", says The Badger, while the more cautious Kevin Howells has booked in for bed and breakfast tonight, considering the weather forecast (and the rain which has so far failed to appear).
1325 - Kent 159-7 (41 overs)
McLaren and Arafat exchange singles, then Kaneria gets some amazing Shane Warne-style turn to deceive the South African. McLaren steers a single to mid-wicket, but just three runs from the over.
"Rob Key hasn't got an aggressive edge, unless he's losing at touch rugby in a warm-up, when he throws his toys out of the pram. He's quite mild-mannered normally"
Leicestershire's former Kent (and former England one-day) wicketkeeper Paul "The Badger" Nixon on TMS
1322 - Kent 156-7 (40 overs)
Having bowled double the number of overs (two) than he usually gets in a one-day spell for England (one), Bopara replaces Napier, but the singles continue to flow - three of them from this over. Last 10 now - can Kent make full use?
1318 - Kent 153-7 (39 overs)
Kaneria's back on, a misfield by Bopara allows McLaren to run three as he leg-glances down towards the Pavilion. More substandard fielding - this time from Masters, who dives over the ball in a manner which even Monty Panesar would find embarrassing - allows Arafat four, as Kaneria screams "Why?" (or at least, that's the printable part). Steady on, Danish. McLaren has 30, Arafat has seven.
1315 - Kent 146-7 (38 overs)
McLaren dabs Napier for a two to the cover sweeper, Arafat is off the mark with a single and then some good running allows McLaren to run three to a straight drive.
1311 - Kent 139-7 (37 overs)
New batsman is Yasir Arafat - he has a domestic one-day strike-rate of 98, might we see some fireworks from him? McLaren steers a single to the cover point boundary. Not even any sign of the promised rain to save Kent.
1308 - WICKET - van Jaarsveld c Cook b Wright 58 - Kent 138-7 (36.4 overs)
Kent's Kolpakkers are packing in the singles with increasing fluency against Wright, while MVJ cuts loose with a powerful cross-batted smear through extra cover for four. But when he attempts a similar blast, he skies it to mid-on where Cook, running back, takes a spectacular diving catch. Essex finally have the wicket they wanted.
1306 - Kent 132-6 (36 overs)
Napier returns, then a fortuitous inside-edged single to fine leg brings up van Jaarsveld's half century off 68 balls. McLaren and MVJ continue to rotate the strike sensibly with singles, while the rest of the office is getting far too excited over some Olympic cycling event. (Mark my words, apart from the Tour de France, most of them ignore cycling entirely as a spectator sport apart from when the Olympics rears its head every four years).
1302 - Kent 127-6 (35 overs)
With 34 overs gone, we have a compulsory ball change (as in ODIs) - the "new" (used) white ball is handed to Wright, who replaces Kaneria at the Nursery End. MVJ steers a single to take his score to 48, McLaren gets up on one leg to steer a single through square leg. MVJ dabs another one to reach 49, then an attempted diving stop by Kaneria in the field only succeeds in pushing the ball further away, and they run two.
1257 - Kent 122-6 (34 overs)
A Kaneria misfield ("for an international cricketer, he's a pretty poor fielder. Duncan Fletcher would call him a one-dimensional cricketer" says CMJ) allows McLaren to run two to third man. Ten Doeschate keeps it tight, just those two runs from the overs.
1253 - Kent 120-6 (33 overs)
MVJ prods Kaneria away for a quick single - the two Kolpakkers are looking good between the wickets. McLaren firmly drives to wide mid-off, but Cook's throw can't prevent them coming back ofr two. McLaren turns one off his legs, and suddenly has 15.
1251 - Kent 116-6 (32 overs)
McLaren is looking purposeful (if that's not jinxing him) as he steers ten Doeschate away for a couple, then a single. CMJ is joined on TMS by Alex Tudor, recently released by Essex - and he played for Surrey's seconds the other day, so may be lining up a return to The Oval. MVJ is taking singles at will now, but is crying out for some sensible support. McLaren lifts one over third man for a singleton, then MVJ nicks the strike off the final delivery - he has 46 now.
1247 - Kent 110-6 (31 overs)
MVJ nudges Kaneria for a single, then McLaren posts his contender for "shot of the day" with an accomplished off-driven four that has CMJ on TMS purring. A single ensures he keeps the strike. And don't forget to e-mail or text in (details above) if you want to get involved - the inbox has been so quiet, you'd think it was the first day of the new Premier League football season or whatever.
1244 - Kent 104-6 (30 overs)
The left-handed McLaren is the first southpaw in action with bat or ball today. Grim-faced Kent skipper Rob Key, feet up on his team's balcony, looks like he's just been told he won't be getting any lunch. Ryan ten Doeschate (I'm afraid to call him RTD for fear of confusion with Doctor Who supremo Russell T Davies) then holds his head in his hands as McLaren gets an edge, keeper Foster and solitary (wide) slip Gallian perform an "after you, Claude" routine and leave it for each other. Foster's to go for, we reckon here, but McLaren profits to the extent of four runs being added to his total.
1240 - Kent 100-6 (29 overs)
New batsman Ryan McLaren is the non-striker (as they crossed on that high skier) as MVJ, seeing his team-mates collapse around him, defends the last ball.
1239 - WICKET - Azhar Mahmood c Flower b Kaneria 2 - Kent 100-6 (28.5 overs)
A single apiece from Mahmood and MVJ finally gives the Kent supporters something to cheer about as they reach three figures. Mahmood astonishingly responds by going for a big heave-ho down the ground, and gives a regulation high catch to Grant Flower at deep mid-off. What was he thinking? Does he know it's a 50-over match?
1236 - Kent 98-5 (28 overs)
MVJ blasts a two towards cow corner as Flower makes a good stop on the boundary, then a single brings Mahmood on strike. "If Essex get van Jaarsveld, this game is over", says Corky on TMS. Mahmood is off the mark with a single.
Meanwhile, South Africa are three down against the Lions - Patto removed Gibbs earlier, while Dimitri Mascarenhas (he who has the best six-hitting ratio per number of balls faced in the whole of international one-day cricket - yet has been dropped from the latest ODI squad), has removed Graeme Smith and Jacques "Shark" Kallis.
Live scorecard: England Lions v South Africa
1233 - Kent 94-5 (27 overs)
New batsman Azhar Mahmood is watchful in defence against his fellow Pakistani, Kaneria - while Dominic Cork on TMS still thinks van Jaarsveld is lucky to be there, "as he should have been given out lbw to his first ball".
1229 - WICKET - Jones lbw b Kaneria 19 - Kent 94-5 (26.4 overs)
The flow of singles is halted as Jones is trapped back on his stumps by what appears to be a non-turning leg-break - Kent are five down.
1228 - Kent 91-4 (26 overs)
A double change as Bopara gives way to fellow medium-pacer Ryan ten Doeschate. Jones nudges the Dutch international away for a single, MVJ steers one to mid-on, and the singles start to flow. And we receive all sorts of e-mails here via our group e-mail address for cricket - we've just been invited to attend a Kabaddi match between India and Pakistan in Lahore this afternoon, but we'll be sticking with the action from Lord's.
1224 - Kent 87-4 (25 overs)
It's way past breakfast time, but time for us to partake of a little Danish. Essex turn to the leg-spin of Danish Kaneria. He gets a reasonable amount of turn against Jones, who turns the final delivery to fine leg for a single. MVJ is still off strike!
1221 - Kent 86-4 (24 overs)
Wright keeps it tight against Jones - if Essex are trying to keep van Jaarsveld off strike, they're doing a pretty fine job at the moment. Jones dabs a single to third man.
1218 - Kent 85-4 (23 overs)
Another customary single from MVJ, then Jones has Essex's fans groaning as he gets a thick outside edge off Bopara which rattles down to the MCC pavilion gate for four. A single allows Jones to keep the strike.
"Bopara uses a three- or four-pace run-up for limited-overs cricket - he doesn't in the longer form of the game, and he still hasn't given me a proper answer as to why he does. Mind you, they used to have 15-yard run-ups in the Sunday League - Malcolm Marshall's pace off a short run wasn't any less, while Robin Jackman used to run sideways, then turn left and run in"
Graham Gooch on TMS
1215 - Kent 79-4 (22 overs)
MVJ plays and misses against Wright, then nurdles a single to leg. Kevin Howells on TMS wonders whether Twenty20 finals day will (or should) come to Lord's in future - despite its success at the Rose Bowl and other venues. Jones then cuts Wright to Bopara at backward point, half-sets off for a run as Bopara misfields and has to dive back to make his ground as Bopara shies at the stumps - a direct hit would have seen the Papua New Guinea-born Welsh gloveman back in the hutch.
1211 - Kent 76-4 (21 overs)
Essex turn to the medium pace of all-rounder Ravi Bopara - given that England's ODI side seem to regard him as a batsman who's only worth risking to bowl for one over per match, he might enjoy bowling in this scenario. After all, what bigger domestic stage is there than a Lord's final? Plenty of players have enhanced their England chances with a good performance in this final - witness Phil Mustard's pinch-hitting for Durham last year, which seemed to suddenly elevate him into England consideration. Meanwhile, after a single from MVJ, Jones cuts determinedly for four as Bopara drops one short, then they run a comfortable two to long leg.
1207 - Kent 69-4 (20 overs)
MVJ steers a single to third man, then Jones is off the mark with a firm pull through mid-wicket for four. That's it for the fielding restrictions.
"Van Jaarsveld has to play a cagey game here - he has to move the total along, but he can't afford to take any chances"
Graham Gooch on TMS
1203 - Kent 64-4 (19 overs)
As we suspected, Masters - who has the look of a young Steve Watkin to me, with a prominent set of ears - is bowling his 10 overs straight off the reel. A "shot of the day" contender from MVJ, who punches a straight-driven four before nudging a single to point. Jones negotiates his final two deliveries and Masters can take his place in the field with 2-34 from his 10 overs.
1159 - Kent 59-4 (18 overs)
New batsman is Geraint Jones - but he might need the magical touch of Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe (who sat next to Jones in the Kent dug-out during the closing stages of the Twenty20 Cup final) if he's to rescue Kent from here and help post a challenging total. He sees off the rest of the over.
1155 - WICKET - Stevens c Foster b Wright 0 - Kent 59-4 (17.2 overs)
Van Jaarsveld gets the scoreboard ticking again with a single to leg - then Stevens departs for a duck when he top-edges behind to the joyous Foster.
1153 - Kent 58-3 (17 overs)
New batsman Darren Stevens almost departs straight away when he nicks one which reaches solitary slip Alastair Cook on the half-volley. Masters (in his ninth over) has Stevens playing and missing, and completes a wicket maiden - he has 2-29.
"Masters is a steady medium-pacer for us, in the mould of a player we used to have called Stuart Turner - he does a good job, week in, week out"
Former England captain (and current Essex batting coach) Graham Gooch on TMS
1149 - WICKET - Kemp b Masters 16 - Kent 58-3 (16.1 overs)
Masters is rewarded for keeping a good line as Kemp gets a big inside edge, attempting a big hit, but it crashes into his stumps.
1147 - Kent 58-2 (16 overs)
Umpire Sharp signals the third powerplay, but after a single from MVJ, Kemp shows the sort of powerful hitting I saw at Twenty20 finals day when he bashes Wright straight back past the bowler for four. He then goes aerial, flat-batting a short ball back up the pavilion slope for four. More good running brings three through square leg as Danish Kaneria - not the quickest in the field - takes ages to throw the ball back in as they come back for the third. Kent's best over yet?
1142 - Kent 46-2 (15 overs)
Captain Pettini shuffles his field, with fine leg coming up and square leg back on the fence for MVJ as Masters enters his eighth over. MVJ dabs a single to third man, then there's a half-hearted lbw appeal against Kemp which looked like it may have gone down leg (though Hawk-Eye suggests it may just have flicked the top of the leg bail). Kemp steers a single wide of the solitary slip, MVJ straight-drives a single. Kent watchful as the second powerplay ends.
1138 - Kent 43-2 (14 overs)
Our first change of bowling as Chris Wright (who didn't play in the semi-finals, but was preferred to off-spinner James Middlebrook this morning) replaces Napier. His first ball is pulled for four through mid-wicket by van Jaarsveld, who then pushes another quick single. The dark-haired Wright, whose long mane is approaching mullet status, follows through but his throw misses the stumps. Kemp sees off the rest of the over.
1134 - Kent 38-2 (13 overs)
Still Masters, and MVJ gets a slightly fortunate edge for two to third man, then steers a single to mid-off. The Badger thinks this pitch is much more like Chelmsford than Canterbury.
And some good news from Beijing - the GB men's coxless four have won gold in the rowing. Here on cricket, we're particularly pleased for oarsman Pete Reed, whose girlfriend Sally e-mailed us during the live text coverage of the fourth Test!
Live text - Olympics, with Ben Dirs
1130 - Kent 35-2 (12 overs)
Napier continues for his sixth over, MVJ aims another big blast but only succeeds in hitting the ball straight into his own pad. Just a single from Napier's over, he has 1-11 from six overs.
1127 - Kent 34-2 (11 overs)
Umpire Llong ssignals the ssecond ppowerplay - can Essex turn the screw against Kent's two Kolpakkers? MVJ reaches double figures with a two through the covers, while The Badger on TMS fondly recalls his days on the Lord's groundstaff in the late 1980s. MVJ thumps one straight to cover but they're quickly out of the blocks for a single.
1123 - Kent 31-2 (10 overs)
MVJ lifts the pacy Napier just over the outstretched arm of Grant Flower at square leg, and it disappears for four. Considering MVJ's stance, more of a base hit to left field. A single produces a change in the field, with square leg back on the fence for Kemp, while the second slip is more of a second-and-a-half slip.
1119 - Kent 26-2 (9 overs)
Kemp knocks Masters away for a couple, then the South African tips-and-runs a confident quick single to mid-wicket. MVJ, who holds the bat aloft like a baseball slugger, guides a single to mid-off, while Paul "The Badger" Nixon has replaced Corky in the TMS summariser's chair, and praises Essex captain Mark Pettini's choice of ends for his bowlers - Masters from the Nursery End and Napier from the Pavilion End.
1115 - Kent 22-2 (8 overs)
Kemp survives another close lbw shout, before guiding a single to third man. Dominic Cork tells Kevin Howells on TMS that he's apparently one of the last remaining batsmen who "walk" in county cricket.
Meanwhile, the England Lions are taking on South Africa in a one-day match at Derby. Some bloke called Darren Pattinson is in the Lions side, while the scorecard suggests that Sajid Mahmood is banging it in all over the place early doors (considering the economy of new-ball partner Tim Bresnan).
Live scorecard: England Lions v South Africa
1112 - Kent 21-2 (7 overs)
MVJ nudges a single to mid-off, Masters then beats Kemp's outside edge and Foster (still standing up) whips the bails off but Kemp had kept his right foot grounded. Kemp nicks the strike with a single off the last ball.
"Van Jaarsveld is the key man here - if Essex can get him early, they'll really be on top"
Former England seamer Dominic Cork on TMS
1108 - Kent 19-2 (6 overs)
New batsman Justin Kemp - another fearful biffer when he gets going - defends his first ball.
1106 - WICKET - Denly b Napier 8 - Kent 19-2 (5.5 overs)
New batsman is the prodigious one-day biffer Martin van Jaarsveld, who already has four centuries in this competition already this season. Denly steers a well-run three down to wide long-on, then MVJ appears to be lucky to survive as he's struck low on the ankle in front of the stumps, but gets the benefit of the doubt from Mr Sharp. A leg-bye rotates the strike, then Napier rips out Denly's off stump with a fierce delivery which beats him for pace. Advantage Essex?
1101 - WICKET - Key c Foster b Masters 5 - Kent 15-1 (5 overs)
Key (compared to Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII, and Tommy Cooper, by CMJ) bludgeons a four to leg, then steers a two to third man. But the Kent skipper's cameo is ended as he gets a thin edge to keeper Foster - he's not happy, but he has to go.
1058 - Kent 9-0 (4 overs)
Key gets his own score moving with a single off Napier. Whatever the merits of coloured clothing compared to whites, this is not a day for the colour-blind as Kent are wearing predominantly dark (navy?) blue, while Essex are in a slightly lighter (royal?) blue.
"I predict the mighty Rob Key will bat and/or skipper himself into contention for a winter tour place"
Gary P in the TMS inbox
1055 - Kent 8-0 (3 overs)
Kent are belatedly off the mark when Denly strides down the pitch and cleanly lifts Masters over mid-on for four. Another lbw shout... not given, for height. Denly uses his feet again well for another lofted four over mid-on - Essex respond by bringing keeper James Foster up to the stumps, to keep Denly in his crease.
You may also have seen that we're offering you a choice of three commentaries today via the website. TMS will be playing a straight bat (as will I) but if your allegiances lie on one side of the Thames Estuary or another, you can listen to commentary from BBC Radio Kent or BBC Essex. A fourth commentary option, sadly only available to me, involves sitting next to Oliver Brett who is already muttering darkly about umpire Nigel Llong being an ex-Kent player after turning down two appeals...
1051 - Kent 0-0 (2 overs)
Graham Napier, whose six-hitting exploits earned him plenty of attention in the Twenty20 Cup, shows his all-round credentials by taking the new ball, but a powerful cover-drive by Key is met with a good diving stop by Ryan ten Doeschate at cover. Napier, with a thin covering of sun cream across his cheeks, has an lbw shout against Key but George Sharp shakes his head - it looked like it was going down leg, although Hawk-Eye suggests it might just have shaved leg stump. Another maiden.
1047 - Kent 0-0 (1 over)
David Masters takes the first over from the Nursery End, and the famous Lord's slope is helping him get a bit of away-nip against Denly. Alastair Cook is in at second slip, and an edge from Key reaches him on the bounce. Essex will hope Cook has brought along the slip-catching form he showed for England in New Zealand, and not the butterfingers he showed at times in the recent South Africa series. Essex appeal for a catch behind off the final delivery, but there's nothing doing and that's a maiden.
1042: We're almost ready to start here - with Rob Key and Joe Denly opening up for Kent. CMJ on TMS reveals one good omen for Kent - these two teams have met five times this season, and on each occasion the team winning the toss and batting first has won...
1039: Pete (below) is right. Our office today is going to be absolutely manic as we're sat near the unruly larrikins working on the Premier League football, while the Olympics have taken over about half of the entire office. So as well as trying to keep up with events at Lord's, we have to put up with random cheering and excitement. Ben Dirs is in full swing with text commentary on the Olympics, if that floats your (rowing) boat.
Live text - Olympics, with Ben Dirs
"I think I am going to have a sore finger from channel-hopping today, as a rugby-loving cricket-playing (not today though), Arsenal fan, I am spoilt for choice on Sky today, not to mention the Olympics on the BBC. Think I'll start with the cricket!"
PcPete999 on 606
Join the debate on 606
"It's not the worst thing to lose the toss - I'd probably have batted, but it could be good for the bowlers early on if it moves around a lot. There are a few nerves, but I'm sure they'll go away as soon as the first ball's bowled"
Essex captain Mark Pettini on TMS
1026: Here are the teams:
Kent: Joe Denly, Rob Key (capt), Martin van Jaarsveld, Justin Kemp, Darren Stevens, Geraint Jones (wk), James Tredwell, Robbie Joseph, Azhar Mahmood, Yasir Arafat, Ryan McLaren.
Essex: Mark Pettini (capt), Alastair Cook, Grant Flower, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, Graham Napier, James Foster (wk), Jason Gallian, Chris Wright, David Masters, Danish Kaneria.
Umpires are Nigel Llong and George Sharp. As with the last Test, I'm joined here by colleagues Jamie Lillywhite (on match report duties) and Oliver Brett (our "gaffer", who's an Essex fan and who'll no doubt be working himself up into a right old state).
TOSS NEWS: Kent have won the toss and will bat first. And all the injury and illness doubts from yesterday have been passed fit to play.
1020: Can it really be a year since I was at Lord's to watch my beloved Hampshire get outplayed by Durham - and then the rain took the match into a second day, meaning that many Durham fans didn't get to see the north-easterners lift their first major trophy?
Unfortunately, the weather forecast isn't great either today. For anywhere. The BBC weather forecast predicts today's predominant forecast for St John's Wood as "light showers". We'll keep you posted.
BBC weather forecast for Lord's
1010: Morning, everyone. It's cricket's equivalent of Cup Final Saturday - with Kent and Essex locking horns at Lord's, the home of cricket, in the final of the Friends Provident Trophy (formerly the C&G Trophy, the NatWest Trophy and for those with really long memories, the Gillette Cup).
We'll bring you news of the teams (and the toss) as soon as we get it - both sides were waiting on several fitness doubts.