ESSEX dominated a truncated first day against Kent in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Canterbury, posting 164 for one.

Tom Westley was unbeaten on 71 and Nick Browne made 54 before the rain intervened.

Kent debutant Wes Agar took the only wicket to fall when he had Sir Alastair Cook caught behind, leaving him with figures of one for 39.

The players initially came off for bad light during the afternoon session and heavy rain subsequently saw play officially abandoned at 5pm.

Essex dominated what little action there was. After winning the toss, they chose to bat in freezing conditions and hit 17 boundaries before they scored their first single and six before any other scoring shot.

Kent’s sole breakthrough came when Cook, who had made a rapid 39 from just 30 balls, edged Agar behind to Sam Billings having hit each of the previous three balls for four.

By claiming the former England captain’s scalp, Agar reportedly won a bet with his brother Ashton – whose first wicket for Australia came as a 19-year-old when he dismissed Cook during the 2013 Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

It was the only bright moment for Kent during an otherwise one-sided session that saw Essex reach 121 for one at lunch.

Westley drove the second ball of the afternoon session, from Conor McKerr, through point to reach his half-century and Browne passed the same landmark with an elegant cover drive off Nathan Gilchrist.

The visitors had cantered to 159 for one when bad light halted play at 2.19pm. There was an-eight minute resumption before rain started to fall and with no realistic prospect of conditions improving, the umpires called a halt for the day.