T20 Blast 2019 – Essex win maiden title after Harmer heroics

Simon Harmer

The English season of intriguing finals continued in the T20 format as well. On the exciting Finals day, Essex prevailed against Worcestershire in the final to pick up a four-wicket win. Simon Harmer, Essex captain was named player of the match for his spell of 3/16 and not out 18 from seven balls at the end. He was also player of the match in the semi-final. Essex had finished fourth in their group but became champions with three straight wins. Earlier, the Finals day began with a thriller.

1st Semi-final – Worcestershire vs Nottingham

Batting first, Worcestershire lost opener Rutherford in the second over itself. Captain Moeen Ali got off to a destructive start but fell for 21 from nine balls. The middle-order crumbled but Rikki Wessels and Ross Whitely ensured a comeback. With their efforts, the defending champions posted 145/9 in their first innings.

In reply, the Notts began confidently. Alex Hales led the chase and with his 52 of 49 balls, he carried his team to an advantageous position. With 11 runs needed from 12 balls, they were firm favourites. Worcs stormed back in the match with a triple-wicket over. On the last ball, Nottingham needed one to tie and two to win. A tie would have helped them progress. But Ben Duckett missed the ball from Wayne Parnell and Worcestershire cruised into the final.

2nd Semi-final – Derbyshire vs Essex

Essex openers, Cameron Bancroft and Tom Westley, got off to a wonderful start with an opening stand of 78 runs. Delport fell after reaching his fifty which sparked a mini-collapse. Ravi Bopara and Adam Wheater provided late momentum as the side finished with 160/5 on the board. After a brisk start, Derbyshire lost their way and kept bleeding wickets regularly. Captain Harmer took 4/16 and Aron Nijjar picked up 3/26 as Essex registered a 34-run victory.

Final – Worcestershire vs Essex

Inserted to bat first in the all-important final, Worcestershire once again lost Rutherford early. This time, Ali and Wessels added 56 runs for the 2nd wicket. Essex bowlers pounced on the Rapids once the partnership was broken. Harmer’s 3/16 supported by Ravi Bopara and Dan Lawrence as Worcestershire ended with only 145 runs on the board.

Essex struggled in the reply and at 82/5 they were in danger of losing their way. Ravi Bopara scored regular boundaries thus keeping the challenge alive. Harmer came out to bat in the 19th over and slammed a boundary on the first ball.  Needing 12 runs in the final over, Harmer slammed consecutive boundaries in the final two balls to secure the title. He was named player of the match.