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Essex captain praises Cook and Bopara

PUBLISHED: 09:30 05 May 2017

Alastair Cook of Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Alastair Cook of Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Ten Doeschate hails duo after beating Gloucestershire

Essex's Ryan ten Doeschate (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Essex's Ryan ten Doeschate (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate lavished praise on century-maker Alastair Cook and all-rounder Ravi Bopara for their contributions to his side’s 29-run win over Gloucestershire in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Cook hit 127 as the hosts piled up 315-8 at the Cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford, with Nick Browne, Varun Chopra and Bopara also making starts.

And Ten Doeschate said: “You want someone to stay there and I thought the guys batted well around him.

“Cookie showed he has got some gears as well. He was nearly a run a ball at the end. As an opener his innings was near perfect. We always thought 315 was a very good score.”

Bopara scored a quickfire 37 from just 23 balls and then took three wickets for 34 as the visitors came up short on 286-8, with Ten Doeschate adding: “Rav is new at five and I know he desperately wants to go up the order. But that is what the team needs at the moment.

“I think today showed what a versatile player he is. He swung the momentum and got us up to 220 with 10 overs to go.

“Playing with two out-and-out seamers, his role is crucial. He is going to bowl 10 overs almost all the time and so far he has been brilliant.

“He is a very clever bowler and handy at picking up wickets, especially when players are going after him at the end. He seems to have a knack of picking up crucial wickets and stemming the flow.

“I’m delighted with the way his white-ball stuff is going at the minute. He is a very important member of the team.

“We’re playing nicely in a lot of phases of the games, but I still don’t think we’ve hit our best. But to get three wins in the first three games in an eight-game competition is a great effort. We’ve given ourselves a chance to qualify and that’s the first target.”

Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Phil Mustard watched Cook’s ton from behind, and said: “He looked pretty good. He was properly switched on early doors and didn’t give much away. But once he got into his stride he played some great shots and he looked really good, so hopefully it will be a good summer for him.”

Essex visit Glamorgan in Cardiff on Sunday, then host Sussex next Wednesday.

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