Friends Life t20, Chelmsford
Essex 158-6 (20 overs) beat Kent 155 (20 overs) by three runs.
Essex's Greg Smith produced a stunning spell of bowling to help his side to a dramatic FL t20 victory against Kent.
The visitors needed four runs off the last ball but failed to get them as the hosts sealed a three-run victory.
James Foster (51) top scored for Essex as they posted a total of 158-6 before Kent's Sam Billings made 59 in reply.
But Smith (5-19) claimed three wickets in one over and two in another before Graham Napier took a wicket with the last ball as Kent were all out for 155.
Kent started the final over needing 17 for the win and a six from Adam Ball gave them hope.
However, James Tredwell was ran out by Napier and the Essex bowler then dismissed Mark Davies with the last delivery of the match.
The victory was Essex's first in the T20 this season and lifts them off the bottom of the South group.
Smith took his first five-wicket haul in the T20 as he claimed the wickets of Billings, Brendan Nash, Geraint Jones, Sam Northeast and Matt Coles.
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Kent captain Rob Key tells BBC Radio Kent:
"I felt we should have won the game. We got ourselves in a decent position and we were just waiting for that big over that never quite came unfortunately.
"The way Sam Northeast came in in the middle order and clear the fence is what you need in this form of the game.
"You need someone at five or six who can clear a rope. It was a shame when he got out because he got us back in the game again.
"Every time we got momentum we lost it."
Essex all-rounder Greg Smith told BBC Essex:
"It had everything today, a great spectacle and a lot of entertainment for everyone.
"It (the six penalty runs) could have been very costly, but luckily Napes (Graham Napier) bowled a really good over there.
"The (required) rate was up to about tens, even elevens, it's one of those days where I either go out of park or pick up a few (wickets).
"Luckily today it just went my way."