Allround Bopara hurries Lions victory
England Lions 294 and 86 for 1 beat Bangladesis220 and 161 by nine wickets
Ravi Bopara boosted his chances of a Test recall with a seven-wicket haul as England Lions crushed Bangladesh in three days in the tour match at Derby.
Bopara ended a stubborn last-wicket stand to finish with four for 14 in the innings and seven for 23 in the match and then took the Lions to the brink of a nine-wicket victory before he was bowled in the final over before lunch for 28.
Lions skipper and England opener Alastair Cook spent time in the middle before next week's Lord's Test with an unbeaten 42 from 55 balls as his team easily chased down a target of 86. Bopara has not played Test cricket since last summer but the Essex allrounder could now come into England"s plans for Lord's if the selectors decide to rest players.
Bangladesh will be hoping captain Shakib Al Hasan makes a speedy recovery from the chickenpox which kept him out of this game after their batsmen wasted the chance to spend time in the middle before Lord's.
Only Jahural Islam showed the necessary application required on a pitch that helped the seamers to score an unbeaten 58 off 153 balls and was the only Bangladeshi batsman to pass 50 in the game.
At least Rubel Hossain dug in to see him to his half-century and made the Lions bowlers work for the last wicket on a hot, humid morning. The contest had been decided on the previous afternoon when the tourists lost wickets to a rash of ill-judged shots to collapse to 139 for 9 a lead of just 63.
Jahural and Rubel continued the stand which had rescued their side from a two-day defeat and batted for another 11 overs before Bopara struck. Jahural brought up his 50, which came off 129 balls, by driving Liam Plunkett through the covers for his fifth four and he hit two more to at least give the Bangladeshi bowlers a modest target to defend.
The last-wicket pair had been together for 18 overs and had added 40 runs when Bopara found the outside edge of Rubel's bat to give wicketkeeper Steven Davies his sixth victim. The best Bangladesh could hope for was to make the Lions work for the runs and they should have removed Bopara on five in the fourth over when he cut Robiul Islam hard to gully where Mahmudullah spilled the chance.
Shafiul Islam beat Cook several times but the opening pair had taken the Lions to within 10 runs of victory when Bopara, who had faced 47 balls and hit four fours, pushed forward at Abdur Razzak's left-arm spin and was bowled.
The Lions needed just three balls after the interval to wrap up victory with Moeen Ali easing the memory of his first-ball dismissal in the first innings by dispatching Razzak for six and four.