Ten Doeschate praise for Essex matchwinner Bopara
PUBLISHED: 08:05 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:05 05 September 2019
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Ryan ten Doeschate praised the efforts of Ravi Bopara after Essex Eagles booked their place at the Vitality Blast T20 finals day on Wednesday night.
Bopara smacked four sixes in his unbeaten 39 from just 18 balls as Essex beat Lancashire Lightning by six wickets with four balls remaining in Durham.
And ten Doeschate, who finished on 45 not out 31 from deliveries, hailed the team's efforts having reached the last four, saying: "It's a great achievement (to get to Finals Day), particularly with the way we fought back in the last few group games.
"Conditions changed and got slightly easier (for batting). They bowled beautifully in the first 12 overs, but our plan was to stay in the game and have a flourish at the end.
"Ravi's had three man-of-the-match performances in a row, and I knew if I stuck in either him or Dan Lawrence would eventually get a few boundaries away. And we've done it at a canter in the end."
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Aaron Beard (2-31) struck early with the ball, before Bopara (2-28) helped reduce the hosts to 47-3.
But Dane Vilas (41) put on 89 with Alex Davies, who finished unbeaten on 80 from 55 balls as Lancashire closed on 159-5.
Tom Westley fell early before a rain delay had all eyes on the Duckworth Lewis rate, but as it turned out Essex got their full allocation of overs and Bopara's late attack on Liam Livingstone proved key.
Ten Doeschate added: "Duckworth Lewis is always a good indicator of where you are, and we were there and thereabouts all the way through. I was very conscious of that.
"James Faulkner is a very good bowler, so the plan was to sit in against him. We knew we'd get a big over somewhere else.
"Ravi hitting his last ball for six (end of the 18th, taking the target to 23 off two overs) I think was the turning point.
"Ravi was then determined to get it done in the 19th, and he picked his balls very well."