Essex have reached the Twenty20 Finals for the first time after beating Yorkshire by five wickets with four balls to spare in a tense quarter final tie at Chelmsford on Monday night.
Former Wanstead batsman/wicket-keeper James Foster proved the Essex hero hitting an unbeaten 47 as he combined in a match-winning sixth-wicket partnership with Ryan ten Doeschate.
Foster came to the crease with his side 73-5 and the match delicately poised but he and ten Doeschate (27 not out) eased them away from trouble before targeting the challenge of 144 for victory.
Only four runs were needed when the penultimate over began but just one run was gleaned to increase the tension.
Foster calmed the nerves taking two runs from the initial delivery of Richard Dawson's final over before sending the next ball over the ropes to complete the victory and book a place at Trent Bridge on August 12, where they will face Leicestershire.
The visitors had failed to capitalise on winning the toss and were restricted to 143-7, with left-arm spinner Tim Phillips returning figures of 2-11, the most economical by an Essex bowler in the four years of the competition.
The home side began their reply positively, reaching 41 for 2 inside four overs but the loss of three further batsmen in three overs checked the progress, leaving Foster and ten Doeschate to apply first aid before healing the wounds with their successful recovery mission.
Captain Ronnie Irani said: "I'm delighted to be taking my team to Trent Bridge. As captain you dream of going to finals day in the Twenty20 Cup and that is down to a fantastic team effort as everyone has contributed.
"I'm also really pleased and delighted for the fans who have supported us through this tournament so far."
Chief Executive David East said: "It's terrific for the club.
"The players have worked extremely hard and improved enormously over the four seasons of Twenty20 cricket we have had.
"It has been very evident since the early group games that we had a side to be reckoned with and justly deserve our place in the finals day.
"If we play to our ability at Trent Bridge then there is no reason why this competition can't be ours."
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