County Championship round-up: Bopara makes case for England place with beautiful ton

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The Independent Online

Ravi Bopara made as compelling a case as he could have hoped to put himself in line for a Test call-up against Pakistan next week with his second century of the match as Essex continued to dominate First Division leaders Yorkshire at Chelmsford yesterday.

Ian Bell's foot injury has created a potential vacancy in the England batting line-up at Trent Bridge next Thursday and Bopara wants to persuade the selectors that he rather than Eoin Morgan should be the prime candidate.

It was a century of extravagant moments, completed with his third six, soon after he had sent a ball from Anthony McGrath soaring out of the compact ground.

But it was not without flaws. He was dropped on 38 by McGrath at second slip off Oliver Hannon-Dalby. He was bowled just after moving into three figures by another hoping to catch the selectors' attention, the Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid. Essex closed on 229 for 3 in their second innings, a lead of 304, with England opener Alastair Cook not out on 90.

England's James Anderson took two wickets but poor weather hampered progress at Chester-le-Street, where Durham were 96 for 5 in reply to Lancashire's 344.

In the Second Division, Surrey beat Northamptonshire by an innings and 175 runs at the Oval while the wicket of Leicestershire's Wayne White at Swansea enabled 40-year-old off-spinner Robert Croft to become the first player to reach 1,000 first-class wickets and 10,000 runs for Glamorgan.