Bopara shines as Essex rise

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Ravinder Bopara played the leading role in his first Totesport First Division game of the season as Essex beat Hampshire by 35 runs to climb off the bottom of the table last night.

Ravinder Bopara played the leading role in his first Totesport First Division game of the season as Essex beat Hampshire by 35 runs to climb off the bottom of the table last night.

The England Under-19 player scored an unbeaten 40 from as many deliveries to carry Essex to 211 for four on a slow Chelmsford pitch. He then followed up his impressive batting performance by taking the crucial wickets of Dimitri Mascarenhas and Shane Warne, as the visiting side were bowled out for 176 in the 41st over. Bopara scored all his runs during an unbroken partnership of 68 in 10 overs with James Foster, who scored 46 from 59 balls.

Mo Sheikh spared Derbyshire Scorpions' blushes to deny the Scottish Saltires their first Totesport Second Division win of the season.

The Scorpions were facing defeat until Sheikh turned the game, following his first one-day half-century with three wickets as the Saltires slumped from 58 for 1 to 154 all out chasing Derbyshire's 182.

At Chester-le-Street, Anthony McGrath's 126 provided the backbone of Yorkshire's 331 in the Second Division of the County Championship, to which Durham had replied with 14 for 2 at the close.

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