Bittersweet Bopara clinches tie

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Ravi Bopara took England to the brink of victory in yesterday’s Lord’s tie against India - only for the last act of his career-best 96 to backfire.

Bopara eclipsed his previous one-day international best of 60 with a near match-winning contribution which ensured England can at least celebrate clinching the NatWest Series.

But after he was last out, caught on the deep midwicket boundary off what proved the last ball before rain ended the match, it transpired England had slipped back to level par on Duckworth-Lewis.

Their 270 for eight, with seven initially scheduled deliveries remaining in reply to 280 for five, still kept them 2-0 ahead with only the final match remaining at Cardiff on Friday.

For Bopara, more so than all others concerned, there were inevitably mixed feelings. “It’s extremely disappointing that we didn’t end up winning,” he said.

“I never quite knew when to accelerate, with the weather and big black clouds lurking round the back there.

“Then when you lose a wicket the D/L goes up - but nevertheless we won the series.”

Bopara top-scored while Ian Bell also hit a half century.