Harmer hails Essex team-mates after late heroics
PUBLISHED: 11:20 07 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 07 July 2018
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Essex match-winner Simon Harmer paid tribute to his team-mates following their Vitality T20 Blast win over Middlesex on Friday night.
South African Harmer saw the hosts to a three-wicket win off the penultimate ball of the match at Chelmsford, in reply to Middlsex’s 179-6.
And that came after Adam Wheater smashed 45 off 18 balls at the top of the order and Dan Lawrence added a cameo 22 off just 10.
Harmer hit a six and a four in his 12 not out from five balls and said: “It probably got closer than it should have. If (Dwayne) Bravo had bowled the death over in the way (Tom) Helm bowled yesterday [against Surrey] we would have needed to have killed the game in the middle overs.
“I think all the guys played great knocks, ‘Wheats’ set it up beautifully and then that over when Dan Lawrence hit Bravo for 14 got us halfway there, and I just put the cherry on the top.
“The thing about death bowling is some days it comes off and some days it doesn’t. The batting came off for us and not for them. We take the points and run.”
Spinner Harmer took 2-43 during the Middlesex innings and, after Essex had suffered a lower-order collapse in their opening defeat against Sussex, was pleased to his bit with the bat this time around.
He added: “I’m batting No7, I’ve been bumped up a little bit and have to take that responsibility, especially in T20 finishing games off. We weren’t able to do it the other night. I’m glad we could see it home.
“I’ve always seen myself as a genuine all-rounder, but it was only 12 runs [I scored], so let’s not get ahead of ourselves! It’s coming off the bat nicely, the ball feels good in the hand, and it’s good to play some T20 cricket again. It’s been a good start so far.”
Stevie Eskinazi and John Simpson both scored 46 for the visitors in a 92-run stand for the fourth wicket to see them to 141-3, before Essex wrestled back the initiative in the last five overs.
Harmer said: “They got too many runs, thanks to my last over and Ravi’s last over. They probably went for too many. Spin plays a massive part in T20 cricket and I think your strategies need to be sound. Maybe that is where we came slightly unstuck.
“We stuttered in certain overs towards the end and with Bravo bowling the last over you always wanted to kill the game earlier.
“It ended up OK. It could have been better in certain aspects, but we’re growing as a team, trying to find the right combinations, the right XI. There is a lot going on behind the scenes to get things right on the park. It’s not 100 per cent there but it’s important we find ways to win – and we certainly did that.”