Wright enjoying Bopara partnership
Luke Wright hailed the impact of new opening partner Ravi Bopara after they propelled England to a nine-wicket win over West Indies in their final warm-up match ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.
Wright, who cracked an unbeaten 75, and in-form Bopara, who made an equally rapid 60, will form England's 12th different opening combination in the short life of 20-over international cricket against Holland on Friday.
They prepared for that opening match of the tournament on the same ground with a 119-run alliance at Lord's tonight to extend English dominance over West Indies this summer.
Although Bopara, who has three consecutive Test hundreds against West Indies behind him, was quickest out of the blocks, Wright made up for not scoring from his first eight deliveries to reach his half-century first.
"Ravi is good to bat with," said Wright. "He's really come of age with the way he's playing.
"He's taken his form from the Test matches and the one-dayers into the Twenty20 and he really does take the pressure off you when he plays the way he does.
"At times in Twenty20 cricket someone will naturally get a start and the other person doesn't always.
"I had a choice of keep trying to knock ones and let Ravi keep going the way he was or make a decision to take a bit on myself, take a punt and have a go. That's what I chose to do; that got me in and got me seeing the ball a bit better.
"I found it quite hard to start with. Those first few overs they bowled quite well and I wasn't seeing it quite as well as Ravi was at the time."
Wright has opened the batting for England before - with less success - and has also filled a role in the lower-middle order, but he relished his chance to kickstart the innings tonight.
"I'm happy to do a job wherever I'm asked to bat," Wright said. "When I've gone out, they've just told me to go and express myself and believe in yourself and that's what I've tried to do.
"If I do get the chance to do it on Friday I've got to try and get more consistent and push on from this. I want to make this my marker and push on."
West Indies brushed aside Ireland at the Brit Oval yesterday but their horrid run against England continued - they have lost two Tests and four completed one-day internationals in a row prior to this unofficial contest.
But stand-in captain Denesh Ramdin, in charge with Chris Gayle resting, said: "We are still enjoying it.
"When we batted in the middle period of the game we could have got more singles and rotated the strike, although 144 was still a competitive total.
"But the openers went hard at us and got the start they wanted. They could continue to go hard because they didn't lose any wickets in the first six overs."