Essex Eagles pulled off a remarkable last-ball finish to win their first T20 Blast title last night and they had their ubiquitous captain Simon Harmer to thank in every way.
All-rounder Harmer took three for 16 including the key wicket of Moeen Ali as Essex restricted the defending champions Worcestershire Rapids to 145 for 9 after winning the toss and bowling at the tricky Edgbaston surface.
Essex’s title ambitions looked in tatters when Moeen dismissed Ryan ten Doeschate and Dan Lawrence in quick succession to leave them struggling at 82 for 5 by the end of the 14th over.
But Ravi Bopara, who made 36 off 22 balls, revived their hopes to leave Essex requiring 12 off the final over.
They managed just six from the first four balls against Wayne Parnell before Harmer smacked his compatriot for successive boundaries to propel Essex to a thrilling win.
“We said at the beginning of the competition it’s always been about the County Championship and we’re just happy to be in the T20, but I really, really wanted that.
“It was one of those days were everything came off, my bowling and my batting. It’s a special night,” the Essex captain Harmer told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.