ESSEX continued their preparations for the new season with a day of batting in their friendly with Kent at the County Ground, Chelmsford, yesterday.
As part of the agreement of the match, both sides agreed to bat for 90 overs each – Essex yesterday and Kent tomorrow.
And Essex’s batsmen used the first day to get some valuable time in the middle.
Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley shared in an opening partnership of 103 before Mickleburgh parted for 51.
Westley went on to make 71 before he was caught by wicketkeeper Sam Billings off the bowling of Mitch Claydon.
Nick Browne – who showed good form in Essexs’ first friendly against Surrey – made 42 and Greg Smith 66 before skipper James Foster went for just four.
After Ben Foakes and Graham Napier steadied the ship, the hosts then lost three wickets in 15 balls Sajid Mahmood (0) joining Foakes (21) and Napier (8) back in the pavilion.
The day ended with David Masters caught behind for 14 and Tymal Mills skying to mid-off for 0, leaving Monty Panesar unbeaten on 15 and Essex all out for 316.
Today, Essex’s bowlers will get the chance to test themselves against the Kent batsmen.
Play starts at the County Ground at 10.45am.