Simon Harmer showed England what he is all about on T20 Blast Finals day... the Essex captain is edging towards a second coming in international cricket
Simon Harmer could not have done more to make his recurring dream of lifting the Twenty20 Blast trophy come true as he dominated finals day at Edgbaston with the ball and then led Essex home with the bat in a last-ball thriller against Worcestershire.
Essex's Twenty20 captain took four wickets in the semi-final victory against Derbyshire on Saturday and three more in the final with the off-spin he hopes to one day employ for England despite already playing five Tests for his native South Africa.
And Harmer displayed his big-match temperament by hitting an unbeaten 18 off seven balls, including a last-ball boundary off Wayne Parnell when one was required, to take Essex to their first Twenty20 finals day victory.
Essex Eagles came out on top in a dramatic T20 Blast final against Worcestershire Rapids
Then Harmer invited the Essex stalwart who he had dropped from two Twenty20 matches earlier this season in Ravi Bopara over a disagreement about his place in the batting order to lift the trophy with him.
'I just feel Ravi is one of the best finishers in Twenty20 cricket and we needed him to come in at six and finish games for us,' said Harmer afterwards. 'Sometimes you need to prove people wrong to make them believe.'
Harmer, 30, will be the crucial figure in Essex's attempt to become the first county to win both the Twenty20 and championship titles in the same season when they take on second placed Somerset at Taunton.
The Essex team celebrate after hitting the winning runs off the final ball of their innings
Then he will step up his attempt to gain the permanent residency in Chelmsford he hopes will lead to a second coming in international cricket with England.
Technically, he will become available in November, four years after his last appearance for South Africa, but he has to gain a resident's visa first.
'There are a lot of factors that prevent me making Essex my home and it's difficult,' Harmer told Sportsmail. 'You never really settle so I've got in touch with immigration lawyers and I'm trying to change my visa which would enable me to buy property and for my girlfriend to work here. Ultimately I would like to emigrate here.
Essex captain Simon Harmer is now dreaming of the domestic 'double' after the T20 triumph