Westley pleased with team batting display against Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 July 2019
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Essex closed day two leading by 82 runs and needing seven wickets to secure another County Championship win at Chelmsford
Essex look set for a fifth consecutive County Championship Division One victory at Chelmsford this year and Tom Westley believes the team batting display has enabled them to get into a strong position against Yorkshire.
The one-time England test batsman top scored for the hosts with 81 off 209 balls to help them reach 328 all out - their highest first-class score at home this season.
Westley shared a 68-run partnership with youngster Rishi Patel, who made 35, after occupying time at the crease with Sir Alastair Cook and Dan Lawrence.
After his dismissal, captain Ryan ten Doeschate took up the mantle and finished on 70 not out after finding allays in Peter Siddle (19) and Aaron Beard, who scored a crucial 41 at number 10.
"We knew getting through the first hour was going to be crucial. With the wicket, if you can take time out of the game, even if it means only going at 2-2.5 an over, the bowlers get a bit tired, the ball gets softer and it does get a little bit easier," Westley said.
"Yorkshire bowled well in the morning, it was hard to score runs and certain players bat differently in different situations.
"Myself, (Nick) Browney and Cookie will look to try and play longer innings, but Tendo is quite counter-attacking.
"I think you saw how the ball behaved off the first new ball and the second one, so it's always going to be a challenge. I think for Tendo to be 20 or 30 not out with the second new ball was crucial and it was a key partnership."
Westley continued: "It took me half-an-hour to get one run - I thought if it's going to be like that all day, it will be a long, boring innings.
"But credit where credit's due, they bowled well and I know that is what you get from (Steven) Patterson - he doesn't miss his length very often and (Ben) Coad likewise.
"They bowled long spells to start with and it was always going to be tough to score, but it was pleasing for us to get partnership throughout the whole innings and hopefully that will be the difference."
From a personal point of view, Westley's 81 was his highest first-class score this year and he was happy to kick on after finishing day one unbeaten on 52.
He said: "It's nice to have finally contributed some runs. It was quite hard work. I thought they bowled well in the first session.
"It has been quite challenging batting at Chelmsford this year, so it's nice to get 80 runs, and hopefully it will be a big push for another Essex victory."