Essex v Leicestershire, Chelmsford, 1st day August 1, 2012

Essex openers finally shine

Essex 161 for 0 (Mickleburgh 81*, Westley 75*) v Leicestershire

Tom Westley and Jaik Mickleburgh put together Essex's first century opening partnership of the season as they reached the close of a rain-affected opening day in their Division Two match against Leicestershire at Chelmsford on 161 without loss.

Only 57 overs were possible, with the afternoon session limited to 8.3 overs. Mickleburgh, appearing in only his third Championship match of the season, was first to his half-century, reaching that landmark with an on-driven six at the expense of left-arm spinner Claude Henderson.

In the bowler's next over, Westley swept the ball to the square-leg boundary rope to take the total into three figures, and soon after collected a single that took his own contribution to 50.

At that stage, he had faced 126 deliveries and struck half-a-dozen boundaries but he was a little fortunate immediately afterwards when an attempted pull fell just short of diving wicket-keeper Paul Dixey.

Westley once again showed his liking for the Leicestershire attack having recorded 81 - his highest Championship score of the season thus far - when the teams met earlier in the campaign at Grace Road.

With another 39 overs lost to the weather, Essex have now lost 1,576 overs in the County Championship so far this season. Twelve days have been completely washed out.