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Bopara hits maiden ton as England makes 600

RAVI Bopara struck his maiden test hundred as England amassed 600 for six declared to take complete control on the second day of the fourth test against the West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados on Friday.

The home team, which leads the five-match series 1-0, ended the day on 85 for one in reply after losing captain Chris Gayle for six.

Former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan (40) and Devon Smith (37) were not out at the close of the day.

Earlier, England resumed on 301 for three and totally dominated on a good batting track against some poor West Indian bowling.

Paul Collingwood made 96 and wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose was unbeaten on 76 but the day belonged to Bopara, who this time last week was in New Zealand with the second-string team.

Bopara was called into the squad following the injury sustained by Andrew Flintoff in the third test, and after a marathon flight to the Caribbean had only a two-day tour match to get in shape.

As Flintoff said farewell to the team before heading back to England for treatment on his torn hip muscle, Bopara seized his chance with a confident innings.

The Essex all-rounder made a woeful start to his test career in Sri Lanka in December 2007, making 42 runs in three matches at an average of 8.4 and compiling three ducks in a row.

Those failures, however, came in vastly different conditions to the flat and quick Kensington Oval track, with a healthy total already on the board and a West Indian attack losing energy, enthusiasm and confidence.

Bopara came to the crease when Kevin Pietersen went in the fifth over of the day, the former England skipper trapped leg before for 41 by fast bowler Fidel Edwards despite a vain appeal to the video referral system.


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