Norfolk batsman makes Sri Lanka suffer with Essex century
- Credit: Nick Wood/Action Plus
Norfolk batsman Jaik Mickleburgh helped consign Sri Lanka to a second successive chastening day in Chelmsford at the start of their Test tour.
Angelo Mathews' team, who began their summer by being bowled out for 254 as teenager Aaron Beard bagged four wickets on his first-class debut, had no answer as Mickleburgh (109) and Tom Westley (108) took over this time.
Essex reached 412 for four declared, after half-centuries too from Ravi Bopara (87no) and Dan Lawrence (57no) - and for good measure, Sri Lanka then closed day two of three on 42 for two, after Kaushal Silva fell lbw, a Beard victim for the second time in the match, and then Kusal Mendis went to a late slip catch off Matt Dixon.
Westley joined opener Mickleburgh at start of play, following the departure of nightwatchman Tom Moore the previous evening, and the pair put on 132 in 35 overs for the third wicket.
An attack described by Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya as the best in the world appeared some way short of that billing, with one more outing scheduled before the first Test at Headingley next week.
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Mickleburgh and Westley were both continuing their own fine starts to the season, the former putting some poor returns in the second XI behind him with his third century in as many first-class innings and going on to hit 17 boundaries from 188 balls in all.
England Lions vice-captain Westley completed his fourth hundred since the end of March - with 13 fours from 144 balls.
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