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Mickleburgh, Westley smash tons as Sri Lanka struggle on day two

Mickleburgh, Westley smash tons as Sri Lanka struggle on day two
Tom Westley (right) scored 108 while Ravi Bopara (left) remained unbeaten on 87.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Sri Lankans 254 (Mendis 66) & 42-2 (Karunaratne 16no) v
Essex 412-4 dec (Mickleburgh 109)
Second day, Tour Match, Chelmsford

Jaik Mickleburgh and Tom Westley smashed fluent centuries as Essex posted 412 for four and took a 158-run lead before declaring their innings, leaving the Sri Lankan bowlers to toil hard on day two of the tour match in Chelmsford.

Sri Lankans also faced 13 overs in their second innings at the end of the day and lost two wickets with just 42 runs on the board, still trailing Essex by 116 runs.

Essex resumed the day on the overnight score of 81 for two. Mickleburgh (109) and Westley (108) started off with caution but kept the runs flowing at a decent pace.

Mickleburgh reached a 97-ball fifty in the 32nd over. With three fours in the 42nd over, Westley took the stand past the 50-run mark.

The pair was hardly troubled by the Sri Lankan bowlers. Soon after Mickleburgh reached his hundred in 172 balls, Westley completed his own fifty.

It was Mickleburgh’s third first-class century on the trot. The 132-run stand for the third wicket was brought to an end by Dhammika Prasad (2-78), who trapped Mickleburgh lbw.

Ravi Bopara (87 not out) joined hands with Westley and shared an 86-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Westley brought up his century in 144 balls and was dismissed by Nuwan Pradeep (1-62) in the 82nd over, leaving Essex at 299 for four.

There was no respite in sight as Dan Lawrence (57 not out) paired up with Bopara and kept the scoreboard ticking.

Bopara completed his fifty in the 90th over with two consecutive boundaries. In the same over, Prasad walked off the field with a shoulder injury.

Lawrence managed to pace his innings superbly and reached his 51-ball fifty with two fours and a six. These flurry of shots also brought up the 100-run stand between Bopara and Lawrence.

After batting for 100 overs and scoring 412 for four, Essex declared, taking a 158-run lead.

Aaron Beard (1-19) once again struck early to remove Kaushal Silva (7) in the third over. Dimuth Karunaratne (16 not out) and Kusal Mendis (16) saw out 10.1 overs and shared a 33-run stand for the second wicket.

However, Matt Dixon (1-17) dismissed Mendis off the final ball of the day by having him caught at second slip. Sri Lanka posted 42 for two in 13 overs and were trailing Essex by 116 runs at stumps.

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