England Lions v West Indies A, Tri-series, Worcester July 4, 2010

Bopara shines in Lions victory

Cricinfo staff

England Lions 345 (Bopara 168, Trego 73, Tonge 4-69) beat West Indies A 221 (Stoute 64, Bravo 62, Trego 5-40, Bopara 4-43) by 124 runs

Ravi Bopara missed out on selection for England's forthcoming one-day internationals against Bangladesh, but showed his worth as a limited-overs player with a starring performance in a 124-run win for the England Lions over West Indies A at New Road. Entering with his side in deep trouble at 14 for 3 in the 4th over, Bopara rallied the lower middle order on his way to 168 from 140 balls as the Lions were bowled out for 345 in the final over.

Bopara then returned with the ball in West Indies A's chase, breaking a threatening 95-run stand for the 4th wicket between Darren Bravo and Kevin Stoute, both of whom had passed fifty. He added the wickets of Chadwick Walton and Andre Russell to finish with 4 for 43 as West Indies A were bowled out for 221 in 40 overs.

Bopara's efforts with the bat were superbly backed up by Peter Trego, who also put in a strong allround performance. Trego slammed 73 from just 55 balls as he and Bopara swung the momentum back for the Lions in a 159-run stand that was compiled at more than nine runs an over. Trego then bettered Bopara's bowling figures as he picked up wickets at regular intervals, castling Anthony Martin to claim his fifth scalp and wrap up the game.

That wicket sealed a remarkable counterattack, led by the two allrounders, after West Indies' opening bowlers, Gavin Tonge and Lionel Baker, had run through the Lions' experienced top order to reduce them to 14 for 3 within the first four overs.

Tonge had Andrew Gale and Jonathan Trott caught behind in the very first over of the game before Baker also found the edge of Ian Bell's bat in his second over. Bopara and Steve Davies steadied the innings with a 68-run partnership, and after Davies was removed by Russell swashbuckling innings from Darren Stevens and Trego kept up the momentum.

It appeared that Bravo and Stoute might inspire a similar fightback when they rescued West Indies from a shaky 57 for 3 with a pair of enterprising half-centuries. But once they were dismissed, both bowled by Bopara, the innings quickly unravelled.

"It wasn't the best of starts for us but I wanted to come out and play my natural game regardless of the score and it worked well today," said Bopara. "It's always nice to score runs and to do it when you've got selectors watching is obviously pleasing and hopefully if I carry on playing like this it will lead to a place in the full England squad again.

"I think we've played good cricket so far in this series and it's great to have made the final, we want to carry on playing smart cricket and we will be confident that we can win on Thursday."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manasvi on July 6, 2010, 17:58 GMT

    Wright should be given the boot and Bopara brought in. He's a true batting all-rounder. With 4 bowling all-rounders in Yardy, Bresnan, Swann and Broad, there's no point in selecting another bits-and-pieces player like Wright

  • Bob on July 5, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    There are a lot of valid points in these posts. I think the major trouble with the curent selectors is that you have to be in their A list.. these are the players, who if fit, are always going to be pencilled in. Even a sustained lack of form seems to make little or no difference. You don't need me to tell you who they are. Now we come to the other point raised by mpb645.. foreign players. You talk about players' HOME country..and then qualify that with , ie where they have spent the bulk of their developing years. It would be interesting to know what that percentage of those developing years would in your opinion be the base line. And in any case, that is not a valid description of one's home country. For Keiswetter, Pietersen, Trott, et al the UK is their home country, they have passports to prove it.. So are you suggesting that as legal resident citizens of the UK they are not entitled to the same rights as someone born here.

  • H on July 5, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    cant help but fail to notice that ravi bopara has scored 200 in a single 1day innings in the past, surely showing that he is superbly talented.

  • Mel on July 5, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    About time that international players were eligible ONLY for their HOME country, ie the country where they spent the bulk of their developing years. For Pietersen, Kieswetter and the rest to be representing England has stifled the progress of real Englishmen and done nothing to arrest the decline in grass roots facilities in ordinary schools and villages.

  • Amit on July 5, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    good innings by him,he need to keep it in next two matches against india A,he can replace luke right in current ODI team as i think,

  • Jimmers on July 4, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    D.S.A. - I think you need to relax a bit, dude. Bopara has had many chances at international level, and has shown that while he's a naturally gifted cricketer, he's still got a lot of developing to do before he's ready to make a difference at the highest level. A few centuries against a bottom-of-the-heap Windies Test team and some List A heroics are good fun, but check out his performances against Sri Lanka and Australia. He's just not up to it, although the signs are he might mature one day. I agree with you about the bowling though - I'd rate his bowling far above Trott, not sure why he was so underused with the ball.

  • Andre on July 4, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    Will the WI A team players return home in time to represent their respective countries in the T20 tournament?

  • Jackie on July 4, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    Congrats to Bopara for a fine innings today but you have to look at his past record in ODIs. He was given an extended run of 50 matches and only averaged 27, made 1037 runs with 4 50s. His highest ever ICC rating was 45. By comparison Bell had 79 matches and made 2483 runs at an average of 35, with 1 ton and 15 50s. Bell's highest ever ICC rating was 13. When Bell was dropped to make way for Strauss (as captain) he was ranked at 22. So you could say that Bell was much more hard done by and has had to fight harder to get even back into the squad. Bopara was favoured ahead of Bell by his Essex team-mate Flower last year despite Bell excelling in Pro-40 with an average of 70. Bell continued that form this year in CB40. Despite being a proven ODI player Bell couldn't get in the team and was reserve batsman for the Series against Australia. Trott was dropped after just one ODI Series against SA. Bell has more of a gripe about not being asked to bowl by Vaughan despite good County stats.

  • Damon on July 4, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    I am so utterly bored with the inference of racism by a whole load of posters on this site, it is utterly ridiculous.

    Bopara isn't in the team because he was utterly awful in the last Ashes series, not because "he doesn't look English". He's also had a pretty poor run in county cricket and hasn't exactly been smashing the door in demanding a recall. Hopefully this innings will put him in the selectors minds, as he's a class act.

    D.S.A should be ashamed of himself, as should every other poster on here than appears to put colour before cricket.

  • Devinderpal Singh on July 4, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    Ha! It's a shame that no matter what he does, he will be overlooked by the selectors, who are in favour of keeping Bell and Trott in the team, to make it an ENGLISH looking team. Deny it if you want, but he and others will have to do more than Bell and Trott to earn a call-up to the International squad, let alone the starting XI. If only Bopara could play for India...and the Sky Sports "analysts" wonder why an Englishman like Bopara and not "great players" like Collingwood don't get into their respective IPL starting XI. The fact is that Bopara has the talent to be world class with the bat and ball, but he will not get chosen unless England are desperate. Strauss will never let him bowl, yet he bowls Trott because he's such a talented player...not! Who else is ahead of Bopara in the bowling pecking order...Kieswetter? Himself? A random fan?

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