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Divine nine for Hildreth

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James Hildreth

A familiar sight - James Hildreth has celebrated nine tons in all cricket this year with the latest coming in Brisbane

You could forgive James Hildreth for not wanting 2010 to end after he cracked an unbeaten 206 in the England Performance Programme's game with Queensland Academy.

It was the Somerset batsman's ninth hundred in all cricket this year and the mainstay of the EPP's 447 for six declared in Brisbane.

Hildreth received excellent support from Ajmal Shahzad, who made 52 not out, before the hosts replied on a run-filled second day with 223 for three.

"I could not have asked for a better start to the tour," Hildreth told

"Everyone wants to score runs in the first game so it's great to have scored a double, especially in front of the ECB people.

"I felt I played pretty well. Previously, I would have been pleased to have got to a hundred and neglected the rest of my innings. It's important to get big hundreds. That's what batsmen do at the highest level.

"I had a few things that I had been working on which I wanted to use during the game. There are technical aspects of the pull and cut shot which I have been working on with Graham Thorpe.

"I did not want resort to what I had been doing last season. I feel like I am improving in that area.

"I feel I am heading in the right direction and am in a good place with my batting."

Hildreth began day two on 142 not out and moved serenely to a double century, cracking 23 fours and four maximums in the process as he and Shahzad piled on an unbroken 132-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Ajmal Shahzad

Hildreth was impressed by Ajmal Shahzad, who hit 52 in an unbroken 132-run stand. "Technically he looked really good," he said

"I did not think about getting 200 when we started the day," said Hildreth.

"All we said was to continue with how we played last night - when there's a bad ball hit it for four.

"He (Shahzad) batted really well. It was the first time I have batted with him and I was really impressed.

"Technically he looked really good. He built his innings well, left the ball alone at the start then freed his arms as he want along."

Bat has dominated ball for two days at Allan Border Field with England's bowlers toiling for two sessions with scant reward.

Chris Woakes, Shahzad and Liam Plunkett took a wicket each while Chris Tremlett, so impressive in England's win over Australia A last week, continued his fine form by conceding just 19 runs from 11 miserly overs.

Despite wickets being scarce, Hildreth was optimistic the EPP could run through the Queensland batsmen in the morning and mount a victory charge.

"We bowled pretty well," said Hildreth.

"We will have a chat in the morning and talk about the plans we have for their batsmen. I'm confident our bowlers are good enough to get early wickets and start a collapse.

"We want to win this game. We said that at the start of the match and that hasn't changed. We will do whatever we can to get a positive result."