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Hildreth shines as EPP take charge

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James Hildreth

James Hildreth, with assistance from Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter, dominated the first day of the EPP's tour game in Brisbane

James Hildreth’s splendid unbeaten 142 ensured the England Performance Programme made a commanding start to their tour match against the Queensland Academy.

The Somerset batsman, who told ecb.co.uk yesterday how he intends to take his game to the next level, was as good as his word in dominating the opening day of this four-day fixture at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

His was the most impressive statistic in a close-of-play scorecard that read 337 for six, although Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter deserve credit for their contributions of 71 and 65 respectively.

On a morning when the England Test side lost Andrew Strauss to the third ball of the Ashes - taking place only a matter of miles away at the Gabba - the EPP also came off badly in the opening exchanges, slipping to 43 for three after Queensland won the toss.

Alister McDermott, son of former Australia bowler Craig, removed Andrew Gale and Steven Davies, while Ben Laughlin accounted for Jimmy Adams.

Hildreth responded by adding 147 for the fourth wicket with Morgan - like Davies, a member of the Test squad - and a further 125 for the fifth with Kieswetter in fewer than 20 overs.

Hildreth’s innings was notable for its composure and maturity, and won praise from Graham Thorpe, the ECB lead batting coach and former England batsman who is accompanying the side in Australia.