Tom Westley was praised by Graham Thorpe after his scores of 84 and 27 helped England Lions set Afghanistan a target of 217 to win the four-day tour match.
Three late wickets from the Curran brothers has left the game evenly poised going into the final day with Afghanistan 18 for 3 overnight needing another 199 runs to win.
Ex-Essex batsman Ben Foakes top-scored in the second innings with 89 not out but Westley also drew high praise from the former-England batsman.
“Tom Westley in the first innings showed good technique against spin and brought a little bit of experience to the table with that, and settled things down. Get forward and play straight against the legspinner early on is the key and Tom did.
“That’s what you’re hoping the lads get educated and pick up on. There’s been some who have missed out, and that happens in Asia – a spinner can get a couple of wickets very quickly, it’s never easy starting against them. If they recognise they might have been too anxious to score, they learn from it as well, then for me that’s also a good thing for them.”
Spin bowling played a pivotal role in Division One team’s success last season and Westley will look to draw on these experiences to hit the ground running in 2017.