Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 15°C

Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Bopara: Essex ‘always behind’ in disastrous T20 season

PUBLISHED: 14:43 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:43 15 August 2018

Ravi Bopara in action for Essex. Photo: PA

Ravi Bopara in action for Essex. Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

As Essex wind up what looks certain to be their worst T20 campaign in the 16-season history of the competition, Ravi Bopara admits the Eagles were underprepared from the start, writes Martin Smith.

Essex have managed a solitary win in their dozen Vitality Blast games to date, and have just tomorrow night’s fixture at Lord’s against fellow back-markers Middlesex (6.15pm), and Kent’s high-flying Spitfires at Chelmsford on Friday (6.30pm), to improve that record.

The Eagles’ previous lowest number of victories in a season is two, and that in both the first two years when they only played five group games.

Since the short-format programme increased to 10 and beyond from 2008, Essex have always won at least five qualifying games, and in a good year as many as 10.

This year’s tally of six points, which keeps them off the bottom of the southern division from equally-woeful Middlesex and Hampshire, is bulked out by three no-results and a tie.

From the opening game it has looked as if Essex had no discernible plan, and the T20 season had caught them on the hop. “It was a bit like that,” says Bopara.

“It happens a little bit just after you’ve won the Championship. You start giving a lot of thought to red-ball cricket, naturally, because you’ve just won the league and you want to defend your title.

“Your focus is red-ball cricket during the winter, how you can improve and win the league again, back to back. You can almost forget about white-ball a little bit and not pay it that much attention.

“It crept up on us and the campaign shows we were a little bit behind.

“We’ve been below-par throughout. Hopefully we can pick it up next year. I back the guys to come out better. We’re going to hopefully focus a lot more on white-ball cricket during the winter, spend more time on it; that would be good for us.”

Assuming he plays these final two matches, Bopara will reach 300 career T20 appearances at Chelmsford. The former England all-rounder, now 33, also needs just one wicket for 200 and 63 runs for 6,000.

Essex return to Championship action at Somerset on Sunday.

$render.recurse($ctx, '$content.code.value')

Paul Hurst doesn’t expect midfielder Teddy Bishop to be out for too long despite picking up a hamstring injury but Jon Walters is now a doubt for Saturday’s game with Bolton.

In our new daily feature, we take a look back at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town history.

Ipswich Town came-from-behind to draw 1-1 with Brentford at Portman Road last night. STUART WATSON gives his snap verdict.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst hailed the character of his players following their gutsy comeback draw against Brentford at Portman Road tonight.

Andy Warren hands out his player grades following Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Brentford at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town produced a second-half turnaround as they battled back to secure a 1-1 draw against Brentford on the night the club paid tribute to the late Kevin Beattie.

Ipswich Town take on Brentford this evening as they search for their first victory under manager Paul Hurst (7.45pm).

Ipswich Town’s players, staff, fans and legends paid an emotional tribute to the late, great, Kevin Beattie prior to kick-off of this evening’s clash with Brentford.

Paul Hurst is not hiding from the fact he could face the sack if his winless start to life as Ipswich Town manager goes on much longer.

We take a look at what happened on this day at Ipswich Town

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24