Lions resolute in response

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC– Barbados were made to endure a long, hard toil, when the England Lions, led by James Taylor and James Hildreth, batted resolutely in their WICB Regional first-class match on Sunday.

The Barbadian bowling lacked penetration, and Taylor with half-dozen boundaries in an unbeaten 97 from 239 balls in close to 6 1/2 hours batting, and Hildreth with 81 helped the Lions to 349 for four, replying to Barbados’ first innings total of 471 at the close on the third day of their second round match at Kensington Oval.

Pedro Collins was the pick of the Barbadian bowlers with three wickets for 65 runs from 25 overs, but Andrew Lyth scored 58, Craig Kieswetter was not out on 47, and Andrew Gale made 37 to help put the Lions in a good place to challenge for first innings points on Monday’s final day.

Barbados had early success, when they removed Gale and Lyth in the first hour to leave the visitors on 116 for three.

Collins bowled Gale in the fourth over of the day, following the batsman’s second wicket stand of 86 with Lyth.

West Indiesfast bowler Fidel Edwards, Collins’ younger brother, who is returning to top-level cricket, following a career-threatening back injury, struck five overs later, when Lyth was caught at second slip.

But the Barbadians were put on ice, when Hildreth, the Lions’ captain, joined Taylor, and they defied the home team with a stand of 156 for the fourth wicket.

Barbados failed to create any chances, as the pair batted doggedly to carry the Lions to 183 for three at lunch.

After the interval, the Barbadians continued to hunt wicket, but the two batsmen continued to bat resolutely to reach their 50s.

Jason Holder saw Tayloredge a drive to third man for two to reach his landmark from 101 balls, and Shamarh Brooks watched helplessly, as Hildreth pulled a short ball over mid-wicket for six to reach the mark from 146 balls.

Barbados would have relished the respite of tea, which arrived with the Lions on 247 for three, and Taylor and Hildreth well-entrenched.

Armed with the second new ball, Collins made the breakthrough in the first hour after the break, when Hildreth caught low down at second slip. He batted for a shade over 4 ½ hours, faced 208 balls, and stuck four fours and one six.

Soon after, Barbadoshad a chance to remove Taylor, but he was dropped down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, much to the chagrin of Edwards.

The home team paid a heavy price, as Taylor and Kieswetter batted the remainder of the day, and have put on 77 for the fifth wicket to fortify the Lions’ position.

Barbados are seventh in the eight-team Championship with three points, after they conceded first innings points in a draw in their opening match against Trinidad & Tobago at Guaracara Park in south Trinidad.

The Lions are co-leaders with the Combined Campuses & Colleges and three-time defending champions Jamaicaon 12 points, following an innings and 120 runs victory over Leeward Islands at Warner Park in St. Kitts.

BARBADOS1st Innings 471

ENGLANDLIONS 1st Innings

(overnight 101 for one)

A. Lyth c Richards b F. Edwards 58

J. Adamsc *Hinds b Collins 10

A. Gale b Collins 37

*J. Hildreth c Holder b Collins 81

J. Taylor not out 97

+C. Kieswetter not out 47

Extras (b1, lb2, w4, nb12) 19

TOTAL (4 wkts, 115 overs) 349

L. Plunkett, J. Harris, D. Briggs, J. Dernbach, M. Chambers to bat

Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-107, 3-116, 4-272

Bowling: Collins 25-4-65-3 (nb1, w1); F. Edwards 20-1-72-1 (nb10, w1); Holder 19-2-67-0; Stoute 26-3-71-0 (w2); Brooks 10-1-41-0; Hinds 15-6-30-0 (nb1)

Position: EnglandLions trail by 122 runs with six first innings wickets standing

Umpires: G. Brathwaite, G. Greaves
Matchreferee: M. Jones
Reserve umpire: R. Brathwaite