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Essex Eagles win thrilling final to secure first T20 Blast title

Essex Eagles have won the T20 Blast for the first time. Credit: PA

Essex Eagles have made history by winning the T20 Blast for the first time.

The Eagles beat the defending champions Worcestershire Rapids in a thrilling final which went down to the final ball at Edgbaston.

Essex had looked in trouble at 82-5, chasing a target of 146, but Ravi Bopara's unbeaten 36 kept them in the game.

It appeared the match had swung Worcestershire's way again when Paul Walter was dismissed in the penultimate over, but captain Simon Harmer hit 18 from just seven balls to smash his team to victory.

Simon Harmer celebrates hitting the winning runs. Credit: PA

Harmer's cameo capped a man of the match performance, with the South African also taking 3-16 in Worcestershire's innings.

Essex had beaten Derbyshire earlier in the day to reach the final.

Essex Eagles lift the T20 Blast trophy at Edgbaston. Credit: PA

The victory could be the first instalment of what would be a momentous double for the club, with Essex also in contention to win the County Championship for the second time in three years.

They face Somerset in a title-decider at Taunton next week and will lift the trophy if they avoid defeat.