County Championship: Alastair Cook on song again before more rain at New Road

Alastair Cook played some belligerent shots against Moeen Ali when the England off-spinner entered the attack at New Road
Alastair Cook was belligerent against Moeen Ali when England's off-spinner entered the attack
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, New Road
Worcestershire v Essex, day one
Essex 144-1: Westley 70*, Cook 53*
Worcestershire: Yet to bat
Match scorecard

England captain Alastair Cook continued his fine start to the season with an unbeaten 53 on another rain-hit day at New Road against Worcestershire.

But after losing their opening home fixture, 40 overs of play were possible before the weather closed in.

It was dominated by Tom Westley and Cook following the loss of Nick Browne.

Their unbroken stand of 128 in 37 overs, with the stylish Westley making an unbeaten 70, fully justified Essex's decision to bat first, reaching 144-1.

He was the more aggressive batsmen, reaching his half century off 64 balls to brighten a gloomy, drizzly day.

It was the sixth successive first-class match in which he has passed 50, starting with his appearance for the MCC in Abu Dhabi against county champions Yorkshire in March.

England Test captain Cook, who has already scored two centuries this season against Gloucestershire and Sussex, hit seven fours and a six off England team-mate Moeen Ali as he completed a more sedate fifty off 112 balls.

Rain and bad light meant the loss of the entire afternoon session following a morning session in which Worcestershire's New Zealand international fast bowler Matt Henry went for 11 off his first over before quickly claiming the only wicket to fall when he had Browne caught behind.

Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"It was a frustrating day to watch as a coach because I know anything we do isn't through lack of effort.

"But we didn't quite have our discipline with us this morning and probably over-pitched and were a little bit on the full side with deliveries at times.

"Credit to them in some ways in trying to get those wickets early but they just didn't quite get it right and it cost us momentum really."

Essex head coach Chris Silverwood:

"We were delighted to win the toss. We got off to a good start. It is essential if you want to capitalise when you have won the toss.

"We have got ourselves in a reasonable position. I won't count any chickens yet. There is still along way to go.

"But hopefully we can restart tomorrow morning and build on the start the guys at the top of the order have given us and see where that takes us."

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