Cricket: Essex outplayed by Surrey says Bopara
PUBLISHED: 08:32 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:32 07 September 2018
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Essex batsman Ravi Bopara admitted the defending county champions had been outplayed by current leaders Surrey after a 10-wicket loss at Chelmsford.
With Essex following on, Bopara hit an unbeaten 81 and shared a half-century stand with Jamie Porter (31), before combining with last man Sam Cook to make the visitors bat again.
Surrey need only four balls to score the two runs needed for their ninth successive win and Bopara said: “We were outplayed from day one by a very, very good Surrey team who do the basics very well.
“They’ve got a good batting line-up and a particularly strong bowling line-up. It helps when you’ve got players in form. They looked a bit more confident and they were brilliant in that first session on Tuesday.
“They won that session, only one down at lunch. We bowled well for the rest of the day, but one thing they didn’t do was give their wickets away. They hung on there and they were strong.
“It’s a shame, we’ve missed a trick. When you look back on it, it’s easy to say we should have batted first, but I think we had the conditions to bowl first and take wickets. But it didn’t happen for us, which is unusual.
“You can tell from Surrey they are in the same mindset we were last year. We knew we were going to win, we’d turn up and blow teams away in the first session and score loads of runs. Not so much this year. But we’re still all right, we’re fourth or something. If we can at least finish third it’ll be a decent return for the season.”
Of the third day’s play, when he hit a six and six fours in a 122-ball innings spanning almost four hours, he added: “It turned out to be a pretty decent pitch, but they still bowled well. It’s just a unfortunate that a couple of guys couldn’t go on, get some big hundred and give ourselves a hundred lead and have something to bowl at. But they outplayed us.”
Bopara and tailenders Porter and Cook put on 69 for the last two wickets to avoid an innings loss and he said: “At the end of the day we were thinking we weren’t going to bat for another day out there, the best thing is to try scoring. There weren’t many options for me to score, as they had every man out on the boundary, so whenever ‘Ports’ and ‘Cookie’ did have the strike I just said, ‘Play your shots. Enjoy yourself because the field is coming up for you. If you can get a couple of boundaries away, that’s fine’.
“Me and Ports put on fifty playing that way. I said ‘if you’re seeing it well and you can play your shots then do it. I’ll give you the strike. If they bring the field up for you, have a dip. If they bring it up for me I’ll have a dip’.
“It was simple as that. It worked well and there were some good partnerships. Then a message came out to farm the strike – and as soon as we did that we stopped scoring. But Ports will have learnt a lot.”