Cook conjures up another Essex century

PUBLISHED: 19:15 02 May 2016

Essex's Alastair Cook hits out on his way to a century (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)

Essex's Alastair Cook hits out on his way to a century (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA Wire

Wet weather holds up innings once again

Alastair Cook hit his third century of the county championship season as Essex tried to bat themselves into a strong position against Worcestershire on another truncated day at New Road.

The England Test captain took his aggregate total for the season to 463 runs, after Tom Westley had also reached three figures, to see the visitors close on 335-2, despite another lengthy rain delay that meant only 50 overs were bowled on the day.

Only 40 overs of play had been possible on the opening day, with Essex reaching 144-1 after the early loss of South Woodford’s Nick Browne.

But they got off to a prompt start on day two and saw Westley and Cook make good early progress to score 34 runs in the first 35 minutes of play.

In-form Westley reached his second county century of the season from 163 balls, having hit a six and 17 fours, and he cut England all-rounder Moeen Ali for four to bring up the double century partnership with Cook.

Essex were 230-1 when bad light stopped play at 12.20pm, with Westley unbeaten on 122 and Cook 83 not out.

But rain then prevented the teams from returning until 4.45pm, which allowed for another 28 overs of play.

Westley fell soon after the delayed restart, trapped leg before for 125 with the total on 238, ending a 222-run partnership for the second wicket.

But Cook moved to his third century in four matches, from 206 balls with a six and 15 fours, and took the total beyond 300 with support from Ravi Bopara.

Cook was unbeaten on 130 at stumps, having added five more boundaries to his collection, and Bopara had helped himself to six fours to be two runs short of an unbeaten half-century, from 77 deliveries.

But with only 90 overs bowled so far in the first two days Essex will need to score quickly on day three, which they are more than capable of with Jesse Ryder, Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier in their side, and put early pressure on the home side’s batting line-up if they are to raise hopes of a third win in four matches this term.

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