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ROYAL LONDON CUP: Essex's Tom Westley makes Middlesex pay for dropped catches

PUBLISHED: 18:44 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:38 22 May 2018

Tom Westley of Essex in batting action against Middlesex (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)

Tom Westley of Essex in batting action against Middlesex (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Essex matchwinner Tom Westley has been speaking after hitting an impressive 134 off 119 balls as the Eagles beat Middlesex by six wickets at Radlett CC in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Tom Westley of Essex celebrates scoring a century (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)Tom Westley of Essex celebrates scoring a century (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)

Tom Westley struck his first century of the season to secure a winning start for visitors Essex.

Westley, who has struggled for form in the County Championship, hit 134 and shared a second-wicket stand of 153 with Varun Chopra as last year’s semi-finalists cruised home with 7.2 overs to spare.

The 29-year-old who has played five Tests for England last summer but was not picked for the first five day match of the summer a week today at Lord’s against Pakistan said after the victory: “This was a really strong competition for us last year, we lost two games including the semi-final and played some really good cricket, so it was nice to continue that form from last year and it was a collective effort.

“I had a bit of luck and it was nice to capitalise and actually get a score that helped Essex win. It would have been equally frustrating, having been dropped, not to go on.

Varun Chopra of Essex hits out (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)Varun Chopra of Essex hits out (pic Nick Wood/TGS Photo)

“Simon Harmer and Neil Wagner were fantastic – those early wickets were crucial for us, and we should also mention Sam Cook on his debut, to bowl eight overs for 40 runs on a ground like this with the new ball was a fantastic achievement.”

Middlesex, who tasted defeat at Radlett for only the second time, were left to rue dropping Westley twice – the first of those when he had made only 12.

The Essex batsman was given his second life on 78 when Stirling failed to hang onto a chance at mid-wicket – but by then the visitors were well on their way to a resounding win.

Chopra eventually departed for 59, stumped off Ravi Patel (3-41) – who also claimed the late wickets of Westley and Dan Lawrence (35) before Essex sealed victory at 253-4.

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