Essex opener Tom Westley followed in the footsteps of England captain Alastair Cook by making an impressive century for Essex against the touring Australians at Chelmsford on Thursday. A decade ago, opening batsman Cook — before he’d made his Test debut — announced himself to the cricket world with a century for Essex against Australia at Chelmsford. BLOG: Essex vs Australians, 2arm-up match Day 2

The 26-year-old Westley is no unknown — he has played over 100 First-Class matches – but his 144 on Wednesday against a high-class attack boasting several bowlers with plenty of international experience had to be one of the peaks of his career. READ: Essex batsmen punish wayward Australian bowlers

Westley’s innings, which saw him blunt the new-ball attack of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, was the cornerstone of Essex’s 299 for three on the second day of four made in response to Australia’s first innings 562 in what was the Ashes-holders’ final warm-up match before next week’s first Test against England in Cardiff, AFP reported.