Cricket: Bopara pleased with big Essex score
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara admitted he felt ‘comfortable’ at the crease after his unbeaten century put the pressure on Worcestershire in the County Championship at Chelmsford.
Long-serving Bopara hit a six and 13 fours in his 133 not out, made in more than five hours, and shared notable stands with Adam Wheater and Simon Harmer as the 2017 Division One champions piled up 474-7 declared after dismissing the visitors for just 94.
Wicketkeeper Wheater hit 66 in a 117-run stand, while South African spinner Harmer added 57 in a 134-run partnership with Bopara, who added: “I thought we played that first hour very well as we knew there was a new ball around the corner.
“It was always going to be difficult against the new ball and myself and Wheater discussed that if we were still here then we had a good chance to score some big runs.
“After then the runs flowed nicely and it became easier to score. I felt happy to occupy the crease, it felt comfortable.”
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Wheater’s departure left Essex 318-6, before Harmer hit nine boundaries in his two-hour stint with the bat to leave relegation-threatened Worcestershire fighting to avoid an innings defeat.
Jamie Porter picked up two early wickets to add to his career-best 7-41 haul from the first innings, with Matt Coles and Harmer also having success as the visitors closed on 140-4, needing another 241 to make Essex bat again with two days still to play.
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Bopara added: “The partnership with Wheater put it beyond Worcestershire to win the game and it gives us a good crack to set some attacking fields and put them under some pressure.
“The plan for the morning is nothing different. Hopefully there is some cloud cover in the morning and we make the most of it and get some nibble out the pitch.”