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Taylor closing in on hundred

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James Taylor

James Taylor, pictured, and James Hildreth helped England Lions reach 349 for four on day three of their game against Barbados.

James Taylor was three runs short of his century as England Lions closed the third day of their game with Barbados in a strong position in the West Indies Cricket Board championship.

Resuming on 101 for one, the Lions saw Adam Lyth bring up his half-century before two quick wickets fell. First, Pedro Collins bowled Andrew Gale, who failed to add to his overnight 37.

Opener Lyth soon followed when he was caught by Dale Richards off Fidel Edwards to leave England’s second string on 116 for three - still 355 runs short of their opponents’ first-innings total.

However, captain James Hildreth and Taylor steadied the ship with a magnificent 156-run partnership and both players looked set until the former became Collins’ third victim.

He was removed for 81 when he was snaffled by Jason Holder off the veteran, who was the pick of the home bowlers with figures of 3-65.

Any hopes that the wicket would lead to a collapse were quickly dismissed as Craig Kieswetter and Taylor shared an unbroken 77-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

The tourists were 349 for four at stumps in reply to Barbados' 471, with Taylor unbeaten on 97 and Kieswetter alongside him on 47.

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