Bopara palyed in four of this summer's Ashes Test before being dropped
Ravi Bopara bounced back from being dropped by England by hitting a double century to give Essex the upper hand over Surrey at Colchester.
Beginning day three on 83, Bopara moved to 201, with 20 fours and two sixes.
This helped the home side to a first-innings total of 545 all out in reply to Surrey's score of 428.
Danish Kaneria then removed Jon Batty and Tim Linley before the close to leave the visitors on 6-2, still 111 behind going into the final day.
However, it was not all plain sailing for Essex, as both Mark Pettini and Ryan ten Doeschate were both forced to retire hurt.
Pettini suffered a back spasm, while ten Doeschate was struck on the hand by Jade Dernbach.
But the day belonged to Bopara, who batted for 293 deliveries before being caught by Matt Spriegel off the bowling of Pedro Collins (4-96).
When he fell, Tim Phillips (69) and David Masters (43) rubbed further salt into the Surrey wounds, before leg-spinner Kaneria, who was asked to open the bowling by stand-in captain James Foster, wreaked havoc with the new ball.
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