Essex v Glamorgan, Colchester, 2nd day August 16, 2012

Westley leads strong Essex reply

Essex 165 for 0 (Westley 90*, Mickleburgh 72*) trail Glamorgan 438 (Walters 159) by 273 runs

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 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 boundaries, three in an early over from Graham Wagg providing the launchpad for the home side's splendid response after they had set off with the task of reaching 289 to avoid the follow-on. He added a further six boundaries before the close of play.

Mickleburgh needed two deliveries fewer than Westley to complete his fifty, which contained eight boundaries, and went on to add another four and a six before the close. With the pitch of a friendly nature, both had good reason to be confident of repeating the hundreds they took off Leicestershire.

Earlier in the day, Walters added a further 30 runs in the morning before he turned a delivery from Harbhajan Singh into the hands of Ryan ten Doeschate at leg slip, a dismissal that brought to an end an innings 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 boundaries before Harbhajan had him caught on the midwicket boundary three short of a half-century, his runs arriving from 61 balls.

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. He scored five fours and the only two sixes of the Glamorgan innings, Harbhajan and Charl Willoughby being the bowlers to suffer.

Offspinner Harbhajan finished with 4 for 91 from 35 overs to post his best figures for Essex while paceman Graham Napier picked up 3 for 124 in 29 overs.