|Friends Life t20, Chelmsford|
|Essex 180-8 beat Kent 118 by 62 runs|
Kent suffered a fifth straight FLt20 defeat as they slumped to a heavy 62-run defeat by Essex at Chelmsford.
Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah both made 39, backed by ex-skipper Mark Pettini (33), Kiwi star Hamish Rutherford (27) and Ryan ten Doeschate (27) as Essex posted a challenging total of 180-8.
Kent made a decent start in reply, reaching 51-0 before a three-wicket burst from Bopara.
Their 10 wickets fell for just 67 runs as they collapsed to 118 all out.
England international all-rounder Bopara finished with 3-12, while Reece Topley took 4-26 as Essex claimed their second win in four matches to stay right in contention in the South Group, just three points behind Surrey with a game in hand.
Essex are back in Twenty20 action, again at Chelmsford, on Friday night when they host second-placed Middlesex, who are just a point ahead.
Kent return to County Championship action for the first time in almost a month on Wednesday when they launch this year's Cheltenham Festival against Gloucestershire.