Worcestershire skipper Moeen Ali feels that all-rounder Ravi Bopara's measured knock in the final helped Essex win their maiden T20 blast title. Bopara scored a nifty 22-ball 36 with his side under trouble to rescue them, before a final-over blitz from Simon Harmer sealed Essex the title.
Moeen Ali's Worcestershire marginally fell short of making it two T20 Blasts in two years as his side succumbed to a four-wicket defeat at the hands of a determined Essex team. Defending a modest total of 146, Worcestershire reduced Essex to 82-5 at one stage, but were then undone by veteran Ravi Bopara's measured knock of 36*, which ensured that Essex won their maiden T20 Blast title.
Skipper Moeen expressed his disappointment over his side's defeat, but also heaped praise on Bopara, stating that his knock turned the tide around for Essex.
"I'm disappointed with the defeat, obviously, but not too disappointed because I thought we played really well there," Mooen was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"Ravi was outstanding, in my opinion he won them the game. His experience showed. I'm just disappointed with the result," he added.
One of the stars for the Birmingham based franchise throughout the entirety of the season has been 21-year-old Pat Brown, who has often outfoxed batsmen with his skill. Moeen lauded the youngster, who finished with figures of 4-0-28-1 in the Final, claiming the wicket of Paul Walter.
"He's got huge potential and he's going to get better," Moeen said of Brown.
"Ravi was the first guy who actually played him really well. He's got huge potential. He's a gun fielder, he loves the big pressure times and he's very confident in himself," he added.
Moeen threw the ball to South African Wayne Parnell in the final over, with Essex needing 12 runs to win. Despite Parnell pulling off an improbable win in the semis, he wasn't quite able to replicate his feat in the final and the skipper described that the pacer was "resigned to losing". Despite the bitter defeat, Moeen still feels that his team are one of the best T20 sides going around and is confident that they will bounce back next season.
"I told him 'you've done it before so you can do it again. In my opinion, his body language showed that he was almost resigned to losing. I still think you can win those games because it's not easy, actually, when you need one to win, to try to belt it. If you try to go over the top you might get out. I think he was already resigned to losing.
"I think we are one of the best sides in the country and I think we will be back here next year. We have a great core of guys, players who win games," he signed off.