BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Craig Kieswetter lashed the second century of the Regional First Class Championship as England Lions piled up a huge total on the second day here Saturday, leaving Leeward Islands with all to do to save the first round encounter at Warner Park.
The 23-year-old right-hander gathered a stroke-filled unbeaten 116 from a mere 102 balls, joining the Lions run spree that raised 553 for six declared.
Captain James Hildreth had earlier extended his overnight 127 to 149 but James Taylor missed out on becoming the third century-maker of the innings when he fell four short of three figures after resuming the day on 79.
At the close, however, the enterprising 20-year-old Kieran Powell was leading a strong Leewards reply, stroking a typically attractive, unbeaten 82 to guide his side to 148 for two.
They are still 405 runs adrift of first innings lead with two days left in the game.
Hildreth looked set for a big century before gloving a hook at pacer Gavin Tonge (2-121) to be caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Devon Thomas at 355 for four.
Taylor also appeared to be heading comfortably for his landmark when he tried to steer one from seamer Lionel Baker to edge to a diving Thomas.
Ben Stokes (19) went cheaply but Kieswetter and James Taylor (52 not out) dominated the Leewards bowling with an unbroken, seventh wicket partnership of 148.
Kieswetter pummelled 10 fours and four sixes while Taylor slammed eight fours off 81 balls.
Powell then responded for the Leewards, playing positively after losing opening partner Montcin Hodge without scoring at six for one.
The left-hander opened his account with a pulled six over square leg off pacer James Harris and proceeded to count 10 fours off 156 balls in 177 minutes at the crease.
He added 83 for the second wicket with Shane Burton (40) and has so far put on 50 for the third wicket with captain Steve Liburd who was unbeaten on 21 at the close.
ENGLAND LIONS 1st Innings (overnight 320 for three)
A Lyth c Banks b Willett 55
J Adams lbw b Martin 5
R Bopara c Thomas b Tonge 46
*J Hildreth c wkp Thomas b Tonge 149
J Taylor c wkp Thomas b Baker 96
+C Kieswetter not out 116
B Stokes c Liburd b Martin 19
J Harris not out 52
Extras (b6, lb2, nb7) 15
TOTAL (134 overs, 6 wkts decl.) 553
Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-73, 3-134, 4-355, 5-363, 6-407.
Did not bat: D Briggs, J Dernbach, N Buck.
Bowling: Baker 27-3-109-1, Tonge 27-2-121-2, Martin 43-7-138-2, Willett 13-2-55-1, Banks 6-0-35-0, Athanaze 14-2-62-0, Liburd 2-0-14-0, Powell 2-0-11-0.
LEEWARDS 1st Innings
M Hodge c Adams b Dernbach 0
K Powell not out 82
S Burton lbw b Briggs 40
*S Liburd not out 21
Extras (lb2, nb3) 5
TOTAL (47 overs, 2 wkts) 148
To bat: +D Thomas, T Willet, O Banks, L Baker, J Athanaze, G Tonge, A Martin.
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-89.
Bowling: Dernbach 9-1-31-1, Harris 9-1-40-0, Buck 10-4-21-0, Briggs 15-3-36-1, Bopara 4-0-18-0.
Position: Leewards trail Lions by 405 runs with eight wickets in tact.
UMPIRES: Luther Kelly, Lennox Abraham