Ravi Bopara century helps Essex beat Glamorgan
|LV County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford|
|Essex 258 & 360-4 beat Glamorgan 282 & 335 by six wickets|
|Essex 21pts, Glamorgan 5pts|
Ravi Bopara pressed his claim for an England recall with an unbeaten century to earn Essex an unlikely win over Glamorgan at Chelmsford.
Bopara, one of the candidates to fill the vacancy left by Paul Collingwood's retirement, made 136 not out to guide Essex to their target of 360.
He shared a fourth-wicket stand of 217 with Matt Walker (97).
Alastair Cook earlier made 79 as Essex recorded a six-wicket success, their first win of the season.
Resuming on 34-1, Essex lost Jaik Mickleburgh lbw to the spin of Dean Cosker with the score on 73 to bring Cook and Bopara together for a third-wicket stand of 60.
Bopara who had made just 92 first-class runs in three Championship matches before this game, had also top scored with 61 in the first innings, indicating a return to top form.
The home hopes then seemed to take a hit when England opener Cook was caught down the leg side off Adam Shantry.
But that was the prelude to an Essex record fourth-wicket partnership in games against Glamorgan.
Bopara and Walker passed the 200 shared by Ken McEwan and Keith Pont at Leyton in 1975. And, although Walker was caught at deep midwicket off Cosker when only three short of a century, his side were already in sight of victory.
Ravi Bopara told BBC Essex:
"It's brilliant for the team. Obviously we haven't hit our straps this year and I don't think we did in this game either. I don't think we played particularly well for three days.
"But I don't want to underestimate how our bowlers bowled in the second innings, I think we bowled brilliantly.
"The economy rates were low, which meant they could never run away with the game.
"Then the batting in the second innings was brilliant and that's what has won us the game in the end."