TOM Westley and Nick Browne both hit centuries as Essex advanced to 289 for one on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship game with Kent at Canterbury.

Westley scored a swashbuckling, unbeaten 138, which contrasted with Browne’s more measured 105 not out, but for the second day running conditions halted Essex’s progress, with just 32 overs possible.

Kent’s bowlers toiled again and Westley and Browne have now put on an unbeaten 246 for the second wicket.

Almost incessant overnight rain left the St. Lawrence outfield saturated, wiping out the entire morning session, but conditions slowly improved.

Essex were on 164 for one when play finally got started at 3.15 pm and they carried on where they’d left off on day one, scoring at four an over, with only the occasional alarm.

Westley reached three figures, from 129 balls, with a straight drive off Conor McKerr that flew to the Pavilion End boundary and it was 245 for one at tea, the duo having added 81 without loss in 22 overs.

Browne took almost twice as long to pass three figures, hitting his 236th delivery from Hamid Qadri for two through the covers.

Browne’s form had dipped since his 238 not out against Somerset last July and this was the first time he had made even a half-century in 14 innings. His relief on making his century was transparent.

The leaden skies encouraged him to accelerate and he smacked a four off Joey Evison before bad light forced the players off at 5.40pm.

With the rain falling once again play was subsequently abandoned for the day and just 74 overs have been bowled over days one and two.