Bopara and butterfingers keep England in the hunt
Batsman stakes claim for Ashes place as West Indies rue dropped catches
Thursday 07 May 2009
Ravi Bopara, batting at No 3 for the first time for England and with the chance to make the position his own at the start of a busy summer of Ashes cricket, gave a pretty decent audition yesterday, making 118 unbeaten runs on day one of the first Test against the West Indies at Lord's.
His runs were especially welcome as he helped steer England out of the choppy waters of 109 for 4 shortly after lunch to the relative calm of 289 for 7 by the close. Only the opener Alastair Cook, who made 35, the wicketkeeper Matt Prior, 42, and opening bowler Stuart Broad, 38, offered support to Bopara as honours were shared after the West Indies had won the toss on an overcast day in north London.
While Bopara was almost singlehandedly keeping England in the hunt, Fidel Edwards was doing his bit for the West Indies taking 4 for 53 with his fast slingy bowling. In 22 balls he took 3 for 9 to knock over Cook, Kevin Pietersen (for a golden duck), and Paul Collingwood, the latter pair having only just returned from their Indian Premier League endeavours in South Africa. However, the West Indian efforts with the ball were horribly undermined by their fielding as they dropped six catches. Broad was the beneficiary an astonishing four times and Bopara rode his luck twice.
In between the spills, though, Bopara provided the sparse crowd with the thrills, driving through the covers and past the bowler with ease in the early stages of his innings. As he approached his hundred he became becalmed but upon reaching the milestone, the cheeky Essex all-rounder gestured to his team-mates to write his name on the Lord's honours board, the reserve of century-makers and bowlers who take five wickets in an innings at the home of cricket.
In his first Test he has achieved where such stellar names as Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Atherton and Shane Warne fell short.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Refugees welcome: More than 250,000 sign Independent petition calling for Britain to 'take its fair share'