Harmer stars as Essex clinch T20 Blast title in dramatic last-ball win
Simon Harmer led from the front with a remarkable match-winning cameo as Essex narrowly edged past Worcestershire in a riveting T20 Blast final to clinch their maiden title.
Harmer, having produced a terrific bowling performance in the first innings returning figures of 3-16, fittingly struck the winning runs by squeezing the ball past the packed off-side field, sending the stadium into a state of euphoria.
The back-to-back boundaries from the final two deliveries by Harmer off the bowling of Wayne Parnell took the 30-year-old's score to 18 from just seven balls as he was duly named player of the match.
At one stage, Essex's hopes to beat defending champions Worcestershire seemed to fade away when skipper Moeen Ali dismissed Ryan ten Doeschate and Dan Lawrence to leave them reeling at 82-5 in the 14th over.
A special 22-ball 36 from Ravi Bopara then revived the Essex chase as his breezy innings featured two boundaries and two sixes including a tremendous hit over long-off to Moeen.
Earlier, Worcestershire were restricted to 145-9 in their allotted 20 overs, hours after completing a dramatic one-run win against Nottinghamshire in the first sem-final.
Their innings never really took off apart from a steady 55-run partnership for the second wicket between Moeen and opener Riki Wessels before Harmer struck on consecutive balls.
Harmer finished the Finals Day with stellar figures of seven for 35, the best ever combined spell recorded in the history of the competition.
He found extravagant turn on a worn-out Edgbaston pitch after claiming four wickets in his side's 34-run triumph over Derbyshire in the other semi-final.
Essex were in trouble early in pursuit of the target of 146 when Cameron Delport was dismissed for a pedestrian seven-ball stay at the crease.
Tom Westley offered some resistance with a patient 36 but he was hurried into an ill-timed pull shot from Parnell in the 11th over of the chase.
Essex captain Harmer walked into the middle with his side six down and requiring 17 runs from eight deliveries.
He slapped his first ball to the boundary fence and then proceeded to tactfully negotiate Parnell's last over to lead his team to a memorable win.