Ravi Bopara played a match winning inning for his county Essex in a T20 blast game against Middlesex yesterday. The right handed middle order batsman scored 45 runs off just 22 balls to see his team home.
Chasing down a huge score of 181, Essex managed to start rapidly thanks to Mark Pettini who played some fluent strokes in the power play overs. Alastair Cook, at the other end, was not trying anything fancy. He was playing sensible cricket and was just looking to rotate the strike. The 81-run partnership between these two was finally broken by Ravi Patel who got Cook caught by Eoin Morgan.
Patel got another wicket quickly thereafter as he dismissed Jesse Ryder as well, but, that wicket proved to be blessing in disguise for Essex as it brought Bopara onto the crease.
Bopara looked in brilliant touch right from the first ball he faced. His placement was spot on every time he tried to go for an aggressive shot.
He was getting brilliant support from Pettini as well and these two guys made the mockery of 10 an over required rate. They were getting boundaries quite quickly which resulted in the shoulders of the opposition players getting dropped. The Middlesex guys gave up a lot earlier before the match actually finished.
The proceedings ultimately finished on the 5th ball of the penultimate over. Bopara remained just 5 short of his half century, but, he would be very happy with the contribution that he made for the team. During his 22-minute stay at the crease, He hit three fours and as many sixes.
His partner Mark Pettini remained not out on 95 off 54 balls and was declared player of the match for that awesome effort.