Big blow as Bopara injury blow

CRICKETESSEX were dealt a blow yesterday as their LV County Championship Division Two game against Middlesex at Lord's petered out into a draw with the news that all-rounder Ravi Bopara will be out for up to three weeks with a thigh strain.

CRICKET

ESSEX were dealt a blow yesterday as their LV County Championship Division Two game against Middlesex at Lord's petered out into a draw with the news that all-rounder Ravi Bopara will be out for up to three weeks with a thigh strain.

Owais Shah, 80 not out overnight, made 131 from 241 balls with 12 fours and a six, as Middlesex, following on, reached 360 for six in their second innings on a final day shortened by rain and bad light.

Jamie Dalrymple also returned to some sort of form with 48.


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Bopara injured himself chasing a ball on the third day of the game and will miss tomorrow's Friends Provident Trophy semi-final against Durham and the start of the Twenty20 Cup.

Essex physio Mark Thomas said: “He has had an ultrasound scan today on his left thigh following a niggle. This shows he has a strain to his left rectus femoris muscle.

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“Ravinder was able to continue playing (on Sunday) aided by thigh strapping and standing at slip to limit aggravating this further. Clinically Ravi is doing well and is expected to be fully fit in two to three weeks.”

That could also rule him out of the England one-day squad which is due to be announced on Friday.

Shah's innings ended a disappointing run for the right-hander who had not scored a Championship century since Middlesex's first game of the season against Somerset.

The poor run also included his second Test appearance when he made just six and four against West Indies at Lord's and was promptly dropped from the side.

He is in the England Lions squad to play West Indies at New Road on Thursday in a one-day match which could give another chance to press his case for an international recall. Bopara was one of the few players to impress in England's World Cup campaign.

Dalrymple, an eye-catching omission from the Lions side, has also endured a desperate succession of scores but finally reached double figures for the first time in seven innings before he was bowled by Martin Saggers having faced 68 balls, hitting six fours.

Danish Kaneria was the pick of the bowlers, taking three for 97 from 36 overs but the avalanche of wickets that Essex needed to force a win never came as 29 overs were lost in the day to the elements.

The leg-spinner removed Shah with the fourth ball of a new spell in the 90th over but Dalrymple, Ben Scott (11) and Chaminda Vass (18) kept the bowlers at bay and the players shook hands on the draw shortly before five o'clock.

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