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County cricket talking points: Ravi Bopara’s runs require more respect

Only six players have scored more runs than Ravi Bopara in the last decade. And he hit another century for Essex this week

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

Essex, who know a bit about winning cricket matches, disposed of already qualified Kent to join Hampshire in the trio progressing from the South Group to the knockout stages of the Royal London Cup. It was a fourth victory in a row for Ryan ten Doeschate’s men, the margin a very comfortable 153 runs. Ravi Bopara top-scored for Essex with 125 and provided an interesting contrast with his opposite number, Darren Stevens. Few would describe the Kent all-rounder’s career as unfulfilled; indeed the plaudits will ring out when the 42-year-old finally hangs up his spikes. But that word – unfulfilled – is the adjective that comes to mind most often when Ravi’s name is mentioned. Yet Bopara has better numbers and has won more trophies than Stevens – and has well over a 100 appearances for England on which to look back in old age. Remarkably, he is seventh on the list of run scorers over the last 10 years in all forms of the game – worldwide! So, “unfulfilled”? You decide.

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