SKIPPER Moeen Ali says his Worcestershire Rapids side are ‘definitely’ good enough to return to Vitality Blast Finals Day next year after they suffered a heartbreaking last-ball defeat to Essex Eagles.

Essex’s Simon Harmer hit the winning runs off the bowling of Wayne Parnell to end Worcestershire’s hopes of becoming the first county to retain a T20 title following a tight win over Notts Outlaws in the semi-finals.

Moeen said: “We are definitely good enough to be back here next year.

“We have one of the best white-ball sides in the country and we can definitely get back here next year. We have a great core group of players.

“It wasn’t easy but I thought we got two decent scores on that pitch.

“We are disappointed with the result but not too disappointed because we played really well.

“Ravi (Essex's Bopara) was outstanding and won them the game.

“We got away with it in the first game and lost a really good game of cricket in the final.”

The Edgbaston pitch turned noticeably throughout the day with Essex bowling almost exclusively slow bowlers in their two games.

Moeen said he had sympathy for the groundsman and he felt it was a good pitch.

He said: “It isn’t easy for groundsmen to make a pitch for three back-to-back games.

“It wasn’t easy for batting but you can still have a good game without it being a flat pitch.

“Overall I think the best team won.”

Moeen was also asked what he thought about his team-mate Pat Brown and whether he felt the 21 year-old could make the step up and play for England in the future.

He said: “I definitely think he can. He’s a gun fielder and a great bowler.”

There were laughs in the press conference when Moeen was asked if it was difficult to pick up Brown’s variations in the nets.

Moeen, with a wry smile, joked: “Not really, I take him down.”

Several Worcestershire players appeared distraught at the end of the game which they looked in the driving seat for with Essex requiring 12 runs from the final over to win.

Rapids coach Alex Gidman paid tribute to the efforts of his players after the game, saying: “I’ve got mixed emotions. I'm gutted for the lads. They put in such a shift and in the whole competition.

“We were so close to doing what we wanted to do and achieve.

“They worked so hard, tried so hard and you just feel desperately sorry for them.

“It came down to one ball. It’s tough for them now. They are just gutted but they’ve done themselves really proud.

“We just simply lost a really good game of cricket. No one has let the side down, no one has had a poor game. It’s just a great game of cricket and we came out just second best.

“Credit to Essex and Ravi in particular. It was an outstanding innings.

“I’m just genuinely very proud of the campaign. We know it’s been a tough red-ball campaign but no-one can deny the fact our white-ball cricket has been outstanding this year.

“We were a couple of wins away in the 50-over competition and one ball away in this.

“In two out of three competitions we’ve done really well.

“We will wake up disappointed but will be proud of what we’ve done.”

Second-from-bottom Worcestershire now complete their Specsavers County Championship Division Two campaign against mid-table Sussex at Hove from Monday (10.30am).