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Vitality Blast 2m

Essex Eagles claim first Vitality Blast title

Simon Harmer dominated Finals Day as Essex Eagles lifted their first Vitality Blast title

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Essex Eagles claim first Vitality Blast title

Essex Eagles secured their first ever Vitality Blast title

Worcestershire Rapids 147/9 beat Notts Outlaws 146/5 by 1 run
Essex Eagles 160/5 beat Derbyshire Falcons 126 by 34 runs
Essex Eagles 148/6 beat Worcestershire Rapids by 4 wickets

In their first-ever appearance in a final, Essex Eagles won the Vitality Blast. Ravi Bopara guided his boyhood side from a precarious position at 82/5, chasing 146 to win, with an unbeaten 36, striking two sixes in consecutive overs against Moeen Ali and Pat Brown before Simon Harmer struck the winning runs.

It was a brilliant display from Harmer, who finished with the best-ever Finals Day figures, taking 7/35 across the two matches as he spun Essex to victory. He added to his four wickets in the semi-final with three scalps in the final, a sharp caught-and-bowled doing for Moeen Ali before pinning Ben Cox lbw. Wayne Parnell became his last victim in the Eagles' historic day.

Pace off the ball did the trick for Worcestershire, with the trio of Moeen Ali, Daryl Mitchell and Brett D'Oliveira squeezing Essex in the middle overs. Between them, they conceded just 49 in eight overs and with Moeen taking the wickets of Ryan ten Doeschate and Dan Lawrence, leaving Essex to chase the dramatic ending.

Harmer led from the front as Essex battered Derbyshire Falcons. He bamboozled Billy Godleman with his first ball, spinning one sharply from leg stump to hit off, before accounting for Leus du Plooy and Anuj Dal from consecutive balls in his second over. The Essex captain finished with figures of 4/19 as the Falcons fell apart in their first-ever Finals Day appearance.

Essex had gotten off to a blistering start thanks to Cameron Delport. The big-hitting left-hander plundered his way to a 28-ball half-century, drilling the ball down the ground to particularly good effect, with his and Tom Westley's opening stand of 78 setting the platform for their emphatic victory. 

Edgbaston was treated to a barnstorming finish in the first semi-final, with the Rapids holding their nerve to clinch a dramatic final-ball victory. Needing just six from the final over, Notts Outlaws were restricted by Wayne Parnell brilliantly to tie down Ben Duckett and Samit Patel before Duckett couldn't make contact with two to win from the final delivery. 

After taking some serious punishment from the Worcestershire top order, young spinner Matthew Carter got his own back, bowling the big-hitting Moeen Ali before taking a further two wickets to slow down a rampant Rapids. 

For more Vitality Blast action, CLICK HERE

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