Simon Harmer - Essex

Essex Eagles claim maiden T20 Blast title in final over drama

SIMON HARMER hailed a “special night” as he guided Essex Eagles to their first T20 title with a stunning final-ball victory over holders Worcestershire Rapids.

The South African spinner played a cameo role with both
bat and ball as Essex successfully chased down Worcestershire’s 145-9, despite
being reduced to 82-5 at one stage.

Harmer, who had earlier taken 3-16 in the Rapids innings,
smashed 18 off just seven balls – including four off the last ball – as he and
Ravi Bopara (36no) helped the Eagles to a famous victory.

Worcestershire had faced the same situation of two needed
to win off the last ball in their semi-final win over
Nottinghamshire Outlaws.

But Wayne Parnell could not repeat his earlier dot ball,
as Harmer carved him to the square cover boundary to seal a four-wicket

Essex will now be looking to complete the T20/County Championship double this week when they face Somerset in a division one title decider.

Champions: Essex lift the T20 Blast trophy at Edgbaston. Alex Davidson/Getty Images

But acting skipper Harmer insists winning this was on
their mind first and foremost.

We said at the beginning of the
competition everybody from the club to the supporters it’s always been about
the Championship and we’re just happy to be in the T20 but I really really
wanted that,” said Harmer after the Eagles had earlier saw off Derbyshire
Falcons by 34 runs in their semi-final.

“It was one of those days were everything came off, my
bowling and my batting, it’s a special night.

“Obviously being my first as captain and to finish it
like that, it doesn’t get any better.”

One-club man Ravi Bopara, who has been at Essex for 17
years, was choking back the tears later, adding: “Unbelievable, it’s the one
trophy we didn’t have in the cabinet.

“I’ve won everything else with Essex and this was the one I was desperate for.”

Scorecard – Essex Eagles (Bopara 36* / Harmer 3-16) beat Worcestershire Rapids (Ali 32 / Ali 2-22) by 4 wickets

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