TOM Westley amassed his highest score for five years as the Essex captain’s supreme double century ground Worcestershire down at the Cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford.

Westley produced a completely chanceless innings of 213 for the second double century of his career – both of which have come against Worcestershire.

He was accompanied with three-figure stands with Paul Walter and Adam Wheater – who scored 87 – and a 50-run stand with Ryan Ten Doeschate.

Essex eventually declared on 490 for nine, before Sam Cook took three wickets in five balls to see the visitors slump to 43 for three.

Westley, whose top score is 254, had begun the day unbeaten on 84 and patiently took his time to creep towards his 22nd ton in red-ball cricket.

An over after Walter had edged the pair to a hundred stand, he flicked off his hips for a couple to mark his century – made in 236 balls.

It would have been a particular relief to Westley having toiled with the bat in the Bob Willis Trophy in 2020. In 11 innings, during his debut season as club captain, the 32-year-old only managed 172 runs – with 51 of those coming in the Lord’s final against Somerset.

Walter departed, after a whip to the legside found a leading edge to second slip, and Ten Doeschate was lbw to Brett D’Oliveira, but Westley seemed undeterred in his eminent run-making.

He seamlessly bedded in with Wheater during the afternoon session as the pair kept the scoreboard ticking without taking any risks, as his 150 was brought up in 314 balls.

While Westley had struggled in 2020, Wheater excelled – topping the club averages with 291 runs at 58. He continued that form by striding to a half-century in 105 balls with a nick through the slips.

It was then Westley’s turn to wave his bat at his team-mates again when after 381 deliveries he cut in front of square to reach 200.

Having been at the crease for nine hours, Westley finally made a misjudgement as he offered up a simple catch to Ed Barnard on the midwicket boundary.

Simon Harmer and Ben Allison both departed quickly during a flurry of wickets before Essex declared when Wheater holed out to wide mid-on – the 490 was their highest score at Chelmsford since crashing 517 against Somerset in June 2018.

Jamie Porter needed only two balls to find Daryl Mitchell’s outside edge, but wicketkeeper Wheater put down the chance to his right.

Mitchell and Jake Libby looked set to tiptoe to close, but in the 15th over Cook struck twice to castle the former and have Tom Fell caught by Harmer at second slip.

With the first ball of his following over, the pacer found Gareth Roderick edging the first ball for his new county to Westley at third slip – all with the score on 32.