An approximation to coherent sampling, also known as boot-strapped waveform averaging, is presented. The method uses digital cavities to determine the condition for coherent sampling. It can be used to increase the effective sampling rate of a repetitive signal and the signal to noise ratio simultaneously. The method is demonstrated by using it to directly measure the fluorescence lifetime from Rhodamine 6G by digitizing the signal from a fast avalanche photodiode. The obtained lifetime of 4.0 ns is in agreement with the known values.