County round-up: Is this the time for a second crack at England role for Ravi Bopara


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The Independent Online

Batsman of the day

Ravi Bopara barely warranted a mention when England’s first “new era” post-Ashes squad was announced last week. And he probably hasn’t scored enough runs in four-day cricket to deserve another crack at the Test scene – yet. The last of his 13 Tests was in the summer of 2012 when South Africa beat England handsomely and he has been off-radar since.

However, with vacancies again in the England upper order, it could be that Bopara, a regular in the England one-day and T20 teams, gets another crack. He is, after all, only 29. Yesterday he hit his first ton of the season in his fourth match. Bopara (112*) put on an unbroken 229 runs with the Essex opener Tom Westley, who was 114* at stumps as the visitors replied to Kent’s first-innings 387 to reach 253 for 1. If he can go on to a Graham Gooch-style “daddy hundred” Peter Moores may take notice.

Bowler of the day

Peter Trego was the main force for Somerset with 3 for 47 as Sussex were reduced to 210 for 9 at Taunton. Rory Hamilton-Brown was his first victim, then Chris Nash edged him to James Hildreth at first slip as the visitors slumped to 25 for 3. He later bowled Luke Wright with only Ed Joyce, who reached the close on 99 not out, offering any resistance.

England watch

Sri Lanka had to settle for a draw in a rain-affected match against Northamptonshire as the tourists prepared for the first Test against England at Lord’s on Thursday.

After Saturday was washed out, Rob Keogh hit an impressive 120 before Northants were bowled out for 345, 213 behind on the first innings. Sri Lanka reached 99 for 4 in their second innings, before a draw was agreed with 17 overs left.

Dinesh Chandimal fell early for eight, then Dimuth Karunaratne made 38 and Kumar Sangakkara 45 before being caught by Chad Barrett at long on, off the bowling of Graeme White (2 for 28).

Mahela Jayawardene was stumped for a duck before the sides shook hands.