Essex Eagles all-rounder Ravi Bopara steered his side to their original Vitality Blast Finals Day as they defeated Lancashire Lightning.
The former England player struck an unbeaten 39 from 18 balls, sharing a partnership of 60 using skipper Ryan ten Doeschate (45 out of 31) to chase the Red Rose target with four deliveries to spare.
Lancashire opener Alex Davies had batted during his side’s 20 overs to get an 80 – but it was not sufficient for success in their quarter-final tie at Durham’s Riverside ground.
Put into bat on a slow pitch, then Lancashire found it difficult to make headway after they lost Liam Livingstone (4) from the first over, bowled swinging across the line to Aaron Beard.
Bopara (2-28) consisted of Steven Croft (8) with his first ball and claimed the prize wicket of Glenn Maxwell (14), leg before to one which kept low – though the replay showed it would have missed leg stump.
Davies and Dane Vilas regrouped, using quick running between the wickets enabling them to place a venture of 89 and place back the Lightning on course.
Davies remained in the crease, employing the throw and ramp shots to lift Lancashire above the 150 mark, although vilas, who enrolled the only half the innings holed out for 41 off 36 balls.
Essex had obtained only 19 deliveries in reply, together with Tom Westley (8) giving Saqib Mahmood a return catch, ahead of the rain subsided and forced a 25-minute delay.
Cameron Delport (44 out of 30) began to accelerate following the resumption, piercing the infield as he hit three boundaries off a James Faulkner around to haul Essex above the required run-rate.
But the Lightning struck with two wickets in successive balls – Delport caught at long-on giving Maxwell the charge before Josh Bohannon’s arrow arm from the deep conducted out Adam Wheater (13).
Faulkner’s diving catch in long-off to dismiss Dan Lawrence (15) was more spectacular – yet it paved the way for ten Doeschate and Bopara to join forces to get their match-winning venture.
Lancashire gambled by smashing two huge sixes entrusting the penultimate around to bowler Bopara and Livingstone took advantage and adding a second to seal the Eagles’ success.

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