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Skipper Hildreth leads Lions charge

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James Hildreth

James Hildreth reaped the rewards of the hard work put in before England Lions' tour of West Indies by striking a ton against Leeward Islands

Skipper James Hildreth struck a magnificent unbeaten century as England Lions dominated the opening day of their clash with Leeward Islands.

It was an excellent start to the Lions’ West Indies Cricket Board regional championship campaign as they reached an impressive 320 for three at Warner Park, St Kitts.

That was mainly due to Hildreth, who epitomised a solid all-round effort with the bat by reaching 127 not out at stumps.

Leicestershire starlet James Taylor, unbeaten on 79, also looks well placed to reach three figures tomorrow as England's second-string look to push on.

After Hildreth won the toss and elected to bat, England made a solid start in the face of some early swing with Adam Lyth driving confidently.

But, at the other end, Jimmy Adams struggled to find his rhythm and was soon trapped leg before by Anthony Martin for five.

Ravi Bopara, batting at three, joined Lyth in the middle with the latter soon going on to post his half-century.

Any hopes he had of a more substantial innings were soon dashed, though, as the opener hit Tonito Willett to Omari Banks on 55.

Bopara was in a typically aggressive mood; he and Hildreth shared an entertaining 61-run stand as the Lions continued to play fluently.

But the Essex man was also guilty of falling when well set, dismissed by Gavin Tonge for 46.

Hildreth and Taylor took centre stage thereafter, mixing good running with the odd boundary throughout as their alliance reached 186 by the close.

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