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T20 Blast 2021

Watch: Contentious lbw decision denies Simon Harmer a T20 Blast hat-trick

Watch: Contentious LBW Decision Denies Simon Harmer T20 Blast Hat-Trick
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: Simon Harmer came agonisingly close to taking a T20 Blast hat-trick for Essex Eagles against Kent Spitfires, denied by the umpire after a very tight lbw shout.

The South African off-spinner has etched himself into Chelmsford folklore as one of their finest overseas players, though for the start of his tenure he was a Kolpak player. He added another stellar performance as Essex bounced back from a poor start to limit high-flying Kent to 167-9 in 20 overs.

The Canterbury-based side, level top of the South Group, put up an opening stand of 89 at better than 10 an over, with Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell-Drummond racing out of the blocks, but Harmer dragged his side back into the contest with a captain’s performance, ending with figures of 4-26.

It could so easily have been five. Harmer claimed two wickets in two balls in his final over, with both set batsmen, Darren Stevens and Jordan Cox, falling to catches in the deep, and a loud appeal followed on the hat-trick ball, with new man Grant Stewart struck on the pad after missing his attempted leg-side nudge.

“He’s gone through him, he believes it,” said the live-stream commentator as Harmer appealed, only to be denied. “The crowd had their fingers in the air.”

“I thought the umpire was going to go there, he had his hand in his holster,” agreed the other.

When the video was posted on Twitter by the official Essex Eagles account, there was debate over whether the right decision was reached. Many felt it was plumb, but some wondered if the ball had hit Stewart just outside the line, or if there might have been a bit of bat involved, hard to detect with the quality of video available.

Watch the Harmer hat-trick ball below to make your own mind up:

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