Openers pilot Essex revival
Openers Tom Westley and Jaik Mickleburgh put together an unbroken partnership of 165 to lead a superb Essex fightback against Glamorgan on the second day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match at Colchester.
After the visitors were bowled out for 438, an innings that included a superb 159 from Stewart Walters, the Essex pair reached the close within sight of centuries.
Earlier this month, Westley and Mickleburgh, aged 23 and 22 respectively, shared in a double-century stand against Leicestershire at Chelmsford and they again provided evidence of their rich promise.
Westley will resume on 90 while his partner will take guard again on 72.
Neither looked in any trouble as they collected a series of boundaries against both the pace and spin bowlers.
Westley raced to his fifty in 73 balls with the help of 11 fours, three in an early over from Graham Wagg providing the launch pad for the home side’s splendid response after they had set off with the task of reaching 289 to avoid the follow-on.
Mickleburgh needed two deliveries fewer than Westley to complete his fifty and added a six before stumps.
With the pitch of a friendly nature, both had good reason to be confident of repeating the hundreds they managed against Leicestershire.
Earlier in the day, Walters added a further 30 runs before turning a delivery from Harbhajan Singh into the hands of Ryan ten Doeschate at leg slip, a dismissal that brought an end to a knock that contained 24 fours and spanned 257 deliveries.
Either side of his departure, Glamorgan kept the scoreboard moving at a steady pace against an attack which, although more disciplined than on the opening day, lacked a real cutting edge.
Ben Wright helped himself to six fours before Harbhajan had him caught on the midwicket boundary three short of a half-century.
Mark Wallace weighed in with 36 before Wagg ensured that Glamorgan were to collect maximum batting points for only the second time this season with controlled belligerence.
He struck 54 from 78 deliveries before he was last out, driving paceman Maurice Chambers to Westley at deep extra cover.
Wagg scored five fours and the only two sixes of the Glamorgan innings, Harbhajan and Charl Willoughby being the bowlers to suffer.
Off-spinner Harbhajan finished with 4-91 from 35 overs to post his best figures for Essex while paceman Graham Napier picked up 3-124 in 29 overs.