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Bopara hits maiden ton as England pile on runs
February 28, 2009 08:07 IST
Ravi Bopara [Images] struck his maiden Test hundred as England [Images] amassed 600 for six declared to take complete control on the second day of the fourth Test against West Indies [Images] on Friday.
The home team, who lead the five-match series 1-0, ended the day on 85 for one in reply after losing captain Chris Gayle [Images] for six.
Earlier, England resumed on 301 for three and totally dominated on a good batting track against some poor West Indian bowling.
Bopara was called into the squad following the injury sustained by Andrew Flintoff [Images] in the third Test, and after a marathon flight to the Caribbean had only a two-day tour match to get in shape.
As Flintoff said farewell to the team before heading back to England for treatment on his torn hip muscle, Bopara seized his chance with a confident innings.
The Essex all-rounder made a woeful start to his Test career in Sri Lanka [Images] in December 2007, making 42 runs in three matches at an average of 8.4 and compiling three ducks in a row.
Those failures however came in vastly different conditions to the flat and quick Kensington Oval track, with a healthy total already on the board and a West Indian attack losing energy, enthusiasm and confidence.
Bopara came to the crease when Kevin Pietersen [Images] went in the fifth over of the day, the former England skipper trapped leg before for 41 by fast bowler Fidel Edwards [Images] despite a vain appeal to the video referral system.
Edwards was fired up and determined to put Bopara under pressure. He almost gained his scalp when the England batsman, on four, hooked the ball towards Jerome Taylor [Images] at deep backward square but the paceman failed to hold on to the catch.
Barbadian Edwards was furious and his anger turned to bitter frustration as Bopara constructed a 149-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Collingwood.
Bopara had to deal with aggressive short-pitched bowling from Edwards, including one ball that struck him in the visor and meant he required treatment. But he kept his cool and was always willing to pull and hook the bouncers.
Collingwood, again batting aggressively, eventually went four runs short of what would have been his second century of the series, slashing Edwards to Brendan Nash [Images] at deep point.
Bopara kept up the momentum with Ambrose, another player who was recalled when Matt Prior [Images] took parental leave.
The pair punished loose bowling to add 113 in 21 overs before Edwards grabbed his third wicket, having Bopara snapped up by Taylor in the deep for 104.
After the declaration came, James Anderson [Images] picked up the prize wicket of Gayle when he was ruled leg before on a referral.
England (1st innings): (overnight 301-3)
Extras: (b-5, lb-3, w-11, nb-8) 27
Did not bat: Graeme Swann [Images], Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson.
Fall of wickets: 1-229, 2-241, 3-259, 4-318, 5-467, 6-580
Bowling: Taylor 29.2-7-107-1, Edwards 30-0-151-3 (5nb, 2w), Powell 24-3-107-1 (1nb, 1w), Benn 30-7-106-1, Gayle 15-4-28-0, Hinds 14-2-62-0 (2nb), Nash 9-1-20-0, Sarwan 2-0-11-0
West Indies (1st innings):
Extras: (lb-2) 2
Fall of wicket: 1-13
Bowling: Anderson 6-0-29-1, Sidebottom 6-0-21-0, Broad 5-0-19-0, Swann 5-1-14-0.