Rain forced the abandonment of play on the second day of Essex's three-day tourist match against West Indies, at Chelmsford - but not before pace man Kemar Roach had blasted a hole in the Essex top-order.

The Barbadian marked his first bowl of the tour with figures of three for 17 from a blistering six-over opening spell that reduced Essex to 39 for four inside 13 overs.

Roach struck three balls after he had unbuckled his pads from helping wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich advance the West Indians’ first-innings score to 338 for eight in their 100-over allocation.

Varun Chopra was first to go with Roach inducing him into a tentative forward prod, the ball flying low into the slips where Kyle Hope snaffled the chance.

Dan Lawrence, batting up the order at three, drove Roach uppishly over the towering figure of Jason Holder at wide mid-off for a boundary soon after he arrived at the crease.

But he was never comfortable. Indeed, Lawrence was beaten twice in succession for pace by Roach, guiding the next ball uncertainly wide of the four-man slip cordon for four before departing to the final ball of the over when his off-stump was pegged back.

Adam Wheater became Roach’s third victim, retreating so far on to his back foot that the lbw decision was never in doubt. Miguel Cummins replaced Roach at the River End and trapped Ryan ten Doeschate lbw with his first ball.

Nick Browne watched the carnage from the other end while compiling 16 not out from 52 balls, as Essex were left on 47-4 from 17 overs when the rain came, trailing the West Indians by 291 runs.

The opener was characteristically watchful, but he showed some attacking intent in driving Jason Holder past mid-off for his third boundary. He was joined just before the rain by Callum Taylor, who cut Cummins square for four.

Earlier, the West Indians batted out the remaining 10.2 overs of their allocation at the start of the day, taking their overnight 309 for eight to 338 without further loss.

Roach the batsman welcomed Taylor back into the attack with two boundaries in the seamer’s first over, one off his legs, the other through the covers.

Dowrich faced 30 more balls in the morning, adding 16 to finish six runs short of a half-century.