Cricket: Essex need ‘monster effort’ says Bopara

PUBLISHED: 07:44 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 07:44 08 April 2019

Ravi Bopara in batting action for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ravi Bopara in batting action for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Essex need a ‘monster effort’ to avoid defeat against Hampshire according to Ravi Bopara.

The 2017 champions will start the final day of their opening County Championship Division One match at the Ageas Bowl on 132-4 in their second innings, after being made to follow on.

That leaves them 229 runs behind the home side, with Bopara unbeaten on 60 alongside captain Ryan ten Doeschate.

And Bopara admits Hampshire have performed better in the field, after piling up 525-8 declared in their only innings in the match to date.

He said: “It is a good wicket but they have bowled a lot better than we did – it is definitely not a 500 wicket.

“There have been some good balls and it isn’t easy to score when you put it in the right areas.

“They bowled smartly and straight at the stumps with a straight field which made it hard for the boys to score and brought them wickets in clumps.”

Sir Alastair Cook top-scored with 50 as Essex were dismissed for 164, with Fidel Edwards (5-51) the chief destroyer and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater unable to bat after suffering a hand injury.

And they slumped to 27-3 second time around, before Bopara put on 67 with Tom Westley (24) and then had support from his skipper before the close.

The visitors will need to bat for most if not all of Monday, though, to avoid a loss and Bopara added: “I’m not the best at shot selection I just went out there and played positively.

“If you think it is a bad ball on the way down then have a go at it. Simple as that.

“There is still an opportunity to hold on but it is going to take two big hundreds from me and Tendo. It will take a monster effort.”

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