Westley will get his opportunity

ESSEX batsman Tom Westley will be given an extended run in the first team after Hashim Amla returned to South Africa this week. Westley, 20, will be stepping into quite large shoes, as Amla scored 410 runs in just five County Championship innings, includi

ESSEX batsman Tom Westley will be given an extended run in the first team after Hashim Amla returned to South Africa this week.

Westley, 20, will be stepping into quite large shoes, as Amla scored 410 runs in just five County Championship innings, including two centuries.

He also hit a one-day ton aswell, but Essex coach Paul Grayson believes Westley deserves his chance.

"I've spoken to Tom and he's going to come into the side next week," he told BBC Essex.


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"He might open or bat three, but he'll get an extended run now. He's been in good form, scored some hundreds for the seconds.

"We go on form players, and he is in the best, he will get the opportunity."

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Grayson is hoping that the rest of the batting line-up, which has shown signs of frailty this season, will now take the lessons learned by Amla's performances for the rest of the season.

"The acid test comes when we go to Southend, but he has given all our batsmen confidence," said Grayson.

"Matt Walker played well against Leicestersire, and I think he has been playing well, but just been punished for the odd mistake.

"John Maunders got 50, Fozzie (James Foster) looks in good nick, while Ryan (ten Doeschate) got some runs as well.

"The signs are there, and he has given us a bit of a lead, which is what we've been lacking over the last few seasons.

"When Ronnie (Irani) and Andy (Flower) were here, we had a go-to batsman, but we haven't had that since."

Essex could only manage a draw with Leicestershire at Grace Road, although they did have the better of the match, with their hosts clinging on towards the end.

"If the rain had kept away, I think we would have taken maxium points," said Grayson, who is hoping his team can now push towards the top of the table.

"We've got a week, but then we've got a big push for the rest of the season. If we keep that sort of performance level, we will be there or thereabouts when it comes to promotion in September.

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