Kent held their nerve to beat Essex by 14 runs to book their second successive Twenty20 final appearance after the first semi-final at The Rose Bowl.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Kent hit 173 for seven and then restricted Essex to 159 for eight.
Joe Denly top scored with 36 to get the innings off to a flyng start and they were 50 without loss after ten overs before Essex turned to spin and Danish Kaneria had Yasiir Arafat caught by Maurice Chambers for ten and Robert Key (20) bowled before James Middlebrook had Denly stumped.
Ravi Bopara then bowled a fine spell of four overs taking three for 36 as Darren Stevens (29), Azhar Mahmood (24) and Ryan McLaren (ten from three balls) attempted to boost Kent in the late overs.
Bopara then got Essex off to a good start by hitting 29 from 25 while Mark Pettini went on to hit 54 from 47 balls before he was run out by Martin van Jaarsveld.
Kent's excellent fielding kept Essex in check and a fine catch by Rob Key saw Graham Napier depart for just three.
Kent's bowlers in the middle overs also kept things tight, James Tredwell picking up one for 26 before Ryan ten Doeschate smacked two fours and a six to keep Essex hopes alive but when he was bowled by an Azhar Mahmood slower ball for 18, the game was up.
Yasir Arafat picked up two for 22 bowling at the death, by which time Essex needed 20 runs to win from the final over, which was too much with Middlebrook, Tim Phillips and David Masters at the crease.
© Cricket World 2008