A brilliant hundred from Ravi Bopara guided Essex to a comfortable win in an YB40 match against Lancashire. Essex won the match by a big margin of 70 runs.
It was a belter of a deck at Old Trafford and the Essex skipper James Foster had no hesitation in electing to bat first after winning the toss.
The visitors were off to a poor start as one of their openers Gautam Gambhir perished early.
Bopara came to bat at 3 and he looked to be aggressive right from the first ball. He took advantage of the fielding restrictions and went over the infield quite a few times at the start, triggering a positive response on the online betting markets.
He got an ideal foil in the form of Gregory Smith at the other end. Smith didn’t try to do anything fancy while Bopara was going hammer and tongs. He was just trying to give Bopara as much strike as possible.
Both these players added 159 runs for the second wicket before Smith was dismissed by Simon Kerrigan at the score of 78.
Bopara continued playing good shots at the other end and with another decent partnership with Ryan Ten Doeschate; he guided Essex towards a huge score.
The 28 years old right hander eventually got out off the bowling of Kyle Hogg in the 37th over. He scored 130 runs off just 102 balls with 9 fours and 3 sixes.
Ten Doeschate hit some lusty blows in the last few deliveries and Essex ended up just 3 short of 300.
In reply, Lancashire got off to a flier. Tom Smith with a couple of half century stands with Stephen Moore and Paul Horton respectively put Lancashire on the driving seat. At 186 for 2 with more than 11 overs still to be bowled, the hosts seemed to be cruising.
But, Tim Phillips turned things around with a great spell. He got 5 wickets in just 22 deliveries and Lancashire ended up getting all out on just 227.