Vitality T20 Blast: Bravo! Harmer is Essex hero against Middlesex

PUBLISHED: 22:11 06 July 2018

Simon Harmer and Adam Zampa of Essex celebrate victory (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Simon Harmer and Adam Zampa of Essex celebrate victory (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Simon Harmer pulled Dwayne Bravo to the boundary from the penultimate ball of the Vitality T20 Blast match at Chelmsford to give Essex their first victory of the season.

Sam Cook of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Paul Stirling (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Sam Cook of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Paul Stirling (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex had made hard work of their three-wicket win after apparently cantering at the halfway stage of their chase after 180 runs

They started the final over requiring eight runs, and had whittled that down to four from three balls and three from two before Harmer became the hero of a dramatic night.

Middlesex chose to bat, but theirs was an innings of fits and starts. That it finished on 179-6 was thanks to Australian international Hilton Cartwright harvesting 20 off his bat from the last over and a single off his pads.

The innings owed much to a 91-run fourth-wicket stand in nine overs between captain Stevie Eskinazi and wicketkeeper John Simpson.

Nick Gubbins hits four runs for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Nick Gubbins hits four runs for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The batsmen were dismissed inside three balls by Matt Coles, both on 46. Eskinazi faced 31 deliveries with two sixes and four fours, and Simpson’s innings lasted 34 with three sixes and a four.

Chasing 180, Essex went off like a train. They had 47 on the board after four overs, and 57 when the first wicket went down an over later.

Adam Wheater had the majority of them, including sixes off Ravi Patel and James Fuller, in addition to seven fours, but departed going for a third maximum when he ballooned to midwicket where Eskinazi pouched the catch. He had blitzed 45 from just 18 balls.

Wheater almost lost Varun Chopra just before his own exit when his opening partner gave what should have been a routine catch at deep square leg that Cartwright spilled under considerable crowd pressure.

Simon Harmer of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Nick Gubbins (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Simon Harmer of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Nick Gubbins (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Chopra made the most of his reprieve, and when he lofted Fuller over long-off for six, Essex were already more than halfway to their target with only half the overs gone.

Tom Westley joined the party with a switch-hit off Patel for four before being caught on the midwicket fence by Eskinazi for a 23-ball 24 to end a partnership of 52 for the second wicket.

However two wickets fell in quick succession, Chopra stumped by Simpson off Patel for 38 from 37 balls and Ravi Bopara run out by Fuller’s direct throw from mid-off.

When Ryan ten Doeschate was caught in the deep by Fuller, Essex were 31 runs short with three overs to go, and in danger of self-destructing.

John Simpson in batting action for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)John Simpson in batting action for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Dan Lawrence took two thick edges to third man before trying a third and falling to Paul Stirling. Essex needed 17 off the last two overs.

The late collapse continued when Matt Coles swung at Helm and was snaffled by Patel at short fine leg. Simon Harmer hit Helm for six to leave Essex requiring eight off the last over.

Middlesex had beaten Surrey in their first game on Thursday night thanks to the efforts of Paul Stirling with bat and bowl. But the Irish opener lasted just seven balls this time, one of them thrashed conclusively through mid-wicket for four, before he was deceived by one from Sam Cook that got up and took his glove on the way through to Wheater.

Max Holden, making his Middlesex debut, hit Jamie Porter for three successive boundaries before chipping Harmer to Chopra at point.

Stevie Eskinazi hits four runs for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Stevie Eskinazi hits four runs for Middlesex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Nick Gubbins was Harmer’s second victim, having just pulled him for six, as he gave himself room to sweep and lost his middle stump.

But Harmer went for 22 in his final over, with sixes over long-off by Simpson and Eskinazi, to post figures of 2-43. The fourth-wicket stand reached fifty in five overs with the pair trading sixes.

Coles bowled a mixed third over, the 15th of the match, as Eskinazi hooked a maximum off a full toss, and then the first free-hit was a wide.

But Coles bounced back, having Simpson caught by Dan Lawrence rushing in from the square-leg boundary, and two balls later Eskinazi chipping straight to Bopara at short cover. Coles finished with 2-33.

Adam Zampa of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Dwayne Bravo (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Adam Zampa of Essex celebrates taking the wicket of Dwayne Bravo (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

The fall of the brace of wickets put the brakes on the Middlesex scoring, with just 17 runs added in four overs.

Bravo tried to up the tempo with a mighty heave at Zampa, but only edged to Wheater. However, 21 taken off the last over by Bopara carried Middlesex from 158 to finish on 179. Cartwright hammered a six and three successful fours in that over on the way to an 18-ball 27.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 19:00

Latest news from the supporters’ association

Yesterday, 18:00

Gallagher, the proud title partner of Premiership Rugby, has launched a nationwide competition for community rugby clubs to win a training session coached by their local Gallagher Premiership Rugby club.

Yesterday, 17:00

Essex club have performed well in previous games this term against teams near the top

Yesterday, 16:00

Everyone Active Raiders forward JJ Pitchley was relieved to come up with a last-minute winner against National League strugglers Invicta last weekend.

Yesterday, 15:00

Cottons Park were without a game last Saturday

Yesterday, 14:30

Havering 90 Joggers raised £160 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal with an event that took place earlier this month.

Yesterday, 14:00

Romford director of football Alex Goldstone is hoping his new role as manager of Barkingside can be beneficial to both parties.

Yesterday, 13:00

St Mary’s Lane club withdrew from RFU Senior Vase tie at West Norfolk last weekend


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area


A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now