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Bopara thanks Upminster

17:21 17 August 2015

John Curtis shakes hands with Ravi Bopara before his benefit match (pic Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

John Curtis shakes hands with Ravi Bopara before his benefit match (pic Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

Essex and England star pleased with crowd for his benefit match

Ravi Bopara hits out for Essex against Upminster during his benefit match (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).Ravi Bopara hits out for Essex against Upminster during his benefit match (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

Essex and England cricketer Ravi Bopara was delighted with the amount of people that turned out to watch his benefit match against Upminster yesterday (Sunday).

The 30-year-old turned out to be the star of the show in the 30-over-a-side contest between the Essex League Division One team and the County Championship outfit.

Bopara smashed 117 to help his side make 292-7 from their allotted overs and Upminster were always going to struggle in reply.

Harry Jenkins hit 59 and Shafiq Rahman made 48 but John Curtis’s side finished on 213-7 to give Essex a 79-run win.

Lots of youngsters turned out for the day and Upminster Park was swamped with cricket fans who witnessed some great action between the two teams.

Bopara said: “Yes I am very pleased with the turn out, I am surprised with it to be honest. It was a brilliant turnout.

“Upminster have done a great job to get all these people here and it is nice to see so many kids playing. It is good for cricket especially with the Ashes win this summer.”

The innings from Bopara, who last played for England in March against Afghanistan during the World Cup, included nine sixes.

He was dismissed just before the close of Essex’s innings, going to a stunning caught and bowled catch by Upminster’s Nick O’Dell.

Bopara praised the effort by O’Dell and admitted if he was going to get out, it needed to be something extraordinary.

“I just thought as the beneficiary I have got to make an effort and score some runs here. It was very important that I do that,” added the England ace.

“It was an extraordinary catch, a one-handed one so that was me gone caught and bowled. I said to myself make sure it is something special that gets you out and it was.”

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