Cricket: Essex's Bopara pleased to do bit with bat and ball
PUBLISHED: 18:56 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:56 28 April 2019
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Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara was pleased to play his part with bat and ball in their 111-run win over Hampshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup on Sunday.
Having lost their last three matches in the tournament, Eagles piled up 341-6 thanks to a 150-run stand between Bopara and captain Ryan ten Doeschate.
Former England all-rounder Bopara hit a six and eight fours in his 89 off 83 balls, while ten Doeschate clubbed a six and 12 fours to also reach 89, but off only 59 balls.
And Bopara felt it was a winning total at the midway stage, saying: “When you are on a losing run you kind of get to a place where you just go 'whatever happens, happens' which can bring the best out in a team.
“We were saying 280 was a good score on there so to get up to 340 was a surprise for us. I think we batted them out the game.
“I like the opportunity to bat, sometimes I think if I am coming in in the last 10 overs that I am a bit wasted but to get in early I am at my best.
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“I naturally scored quite freely, I don't worry about rotating the strike, and then if I'm there at the back end I back myself to score boundaries.
“I have been pushing to go up the order for years so I don't think it is going to happen now. I do what is best for the team and apparently No.5 is best at the moment.
“Tendo's innings was unbelievable. I think it was the innings of the day. Personally I think that has won us the game.
“The way he has come out and played aggressively and hit the gaps was a serious innings.”
Jamie Porter and Peter Siddle kept the Hampshire reply in check in reply, with Matt Coles claiming an early brace to leave them 37-3.
And although Rilee Rossouw and James Vince got the visitors on track, they were always up against it.
Bopara (3-39) dismissed Rossouw seven runs short of a century and struck twice more, before Coles (4-48) completed victory and Bopara added: “The two bowlers up front were unbelievable to get it nipping around and keep them at about three an over and taking wickets. It really set us up nicely.
“We are still confident of qualifying from the group. We have to hope the performances go our way.”