Bopara happy to do his bit for Essex

PUBLISHED: 07:47 07 June 2018 | UPDATED: 07:47 07 June 2018

Ravi Bopara of Essex leaves the field having been dismissed for 125 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ravi Bopara of Essex leaves the field having been dismissed for 125 (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Ravi Bopara was happy to do his bit to help Essex to a crushing win over Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup at Chelmsford on Wednesday night.

Bopara (125) and Dan Lawrence (115) both hit centuries as the hosts piled up 337-7, before Jamie Porter (4-37), Matt Coles (2-20) and Ryan ten Doeschate (2-23) did most of the damage with the ball to secure a 153-run win and a home quarter-final tie.

Bopara said: “Every day someone has got to do it – it can’t always be Chopra, it can’t always be Westley. We all take our turn. Today was Dan Lawrence’s day, and myself.” Lawrence made his highest List A score, putting on 187 for the fourth wicket with Bopara, who added: “It’s got to happen one day, hasn’t it? You’ve got to do it and he did it today.

“It might have been even better had he done it in the next game. I think now he has got over that hurdle of getting fifty, then a hundred, it’s a nice feeling and you can free up a bit. It was good for him.

“He backs himself. He’s young and a bit wet behind the ears, but that’s not a bad thing in cricket. When they’re a bit naïve and don’t really know what’s going on.

“But he’s very mature for his age in cricket terms. He’s a wonderful batsman, he’s got the class, the talent and he’s got a big future ahead of him.”

Essex slipped to 82-3 inside 20 overs before Lawrence and Bopara rebuilt their innings, combining for nine sixes and 18 fours along the way.

Bopara said: “Darren Stevens was moving it around, off a length, a bit of both ways, and it was a little dangerous just to hit through the line. He got to seven overs and we had a chat and said ‘Look, he’s got three overs to go, if we can at least score five or six an over off him, we can get the runs at the other end.

“And we targeted their death bowling a little bit and they are going to be the best [for us] at the end. Let’s load it up towards the death and if it comes off, it comes off. But the only way to win this game is if we both get a hundred.’ That was the chat. ‘Both of us are going to get a hundred today’.”

Porter dismissed the dangerous and in-form Heino Kuhn cheaply in reply, with Sam Cook sending Daniel Bell-Drummond packing.

Coles then came into the attack against his old club and dismissed Sam Billings with his first delivery and Joe Denly soon after to leave Kent up against it at 53-4.

Speaking of Coles, Bopara added: “We’ve been missing him from the start. We’ve been saying the sooner he can get into our team, or get fit, we’ll be a much better bowling side.

“And we’ll be able to defend more scores with him in the side. He’s been a brilliant addition to the team.”

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