Essex's Paul Walter underlined his burgeoning reputation as an all-rounder of considerable promise with starring performances with both bat and ball as the tourist match against the West Indians at Chelmsford petered out into a draw.

The left-hander, 23, rescued Essex from humiliation with his highest first-class score and then dismissed the first two batsmen when the West Indians batted again, 153 runs ahead. They had increased that notional lead to 288 when time was called on their batting practice at with 20 overs remaining.

Walter had come in at 52 for five in the fifth over of the day – soon to be 56 for six – and was still there, 68 not out, when Essex declared just before three o’clock.

The player who signed his first professional contract little more than a year ago, faced 139 balls, hitting nine fours and a straight six off Devendra Bishoo that threatened the window of the radio commentary box and its occupants. He had fifty-run partnerships with Aron Nijar and Matt Dixon to tame a West Indian attack in which Kemar Roach finished with five for 43.

With a ball in his hand, Walter has eased into the key third seamer position in the Essex attack in the absence of the injured Matt Quinn. Despite spending 12 minutes shy of three hours in the middle with his pads on, he opened the bowling and took wickets with his sixth and seventh balls to finish with two for 14 from three overs.

Walter had steadied an otherwise rudderless Essex ship that lost two wickets in the first eight overs of the third day to leave them 56 for six.

The fifth wicket fell when an outswinger from Jason Holder found the edge of Callum Taylor’s bat and Kyle Hope dived across from third slip to take the catch in front of the man to his left.

Hope took his third catch of the innings to end Nick Browne’s near-two-hour stay at the crease. The left-hander face another 24 balls during the first 35 minutes of play without advancing his overnight score of 16. Roach induced the edge from the 76th ball of Browne’s watchful innings to claim his fourth wicket.

Walter was then joined in a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket in 52 minutes by Aron Nijar that took the Essex total past 100, a total that had looked beyond them at one point.

Nijar raced along pleasingly at a run-a-ball before the young spinner was taken at the third attempt by a juggling Kieran Powell at second slip to give Miguel Cummins a second wicket. Nijar’s 30 took just 37 balls and included six boundaries.

Walter was particularly strong through mid-off where he drove both Holder and Roston Chase for boundaries. However, he lost his third partner when Aaron Beard chopped on to give Roach wicket No5.

A deflection off Roach across the rope at third man took Walter past his previous highest score of 47. He reached his maiden fifty with a lofted drive that just cleared cover’s head. It had taken 97 balls and included eight fours.

His ninth boundary was driven back all along the ground past Holder to take him to 60. The six off leg-spinner Bishoo also brought up the fifty for the ninth wicket from 19 overs.

However, Bishoo made amends in the same over when he had Matt Dixon lbw. The Australian had kept up an end while facing 45 balls and contributing just eight to a 53-run stand. The declaration followed soon after.

The ubiquitous Walter made the breakthrough with the ball when he had Kraigg Brathwaite caught behind by a diving Adam Wheater in his opening over, and Kyle Hope bowled without scoring in his next.

Kieran Powell was the third to go, caught behind to Taylor’s first ball, a whippy inswinger slanted across the batsman and took the edge.

Some wayward bowling after tea helped fourth-wicket pair Shai Hope and Roston Chase enjoy some easy pickings in the middle. They racked up fifty runs in eight overs, the ball being despatched to the boundary with something akin to contempt.

Aaron Beard was particularly severely dealt with, going for 35 in five overs, while Chase twice in succession flicked Dixon off his legs for fours as the Australian seamer went for six an over.

The younger Hope weighed in with a particularly handsome and meaty square cut off Taylor before the young bowler ended 16 overs of fun during which the pair added 82 runs. Hope edged low to Varun Chopra at first slip for a 59-ball 46 with nine fours.

Shortly before the end, Chase lifted Nijar for six over long-off and reached his second half-century of the match from 69 balls.