St Kitts & Nevis v England Lions, Tour Match, 1st day January 29, 2011

Gale fifty holds Lions together

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stumps St Kitts & Nevis 4 for 0 (Powell 3*, Jeffers 0*) v England Lions 277 (Gale 53, Lyth 45, Willett 3-60)

Andre Gale's half-century was the highlight of England Lions' innings as they reached 277 on the first day of their two-day tour match against St. Kitts and Nevis at Molyneaux. Entering at 128 for 3, Gale stroked three fours and two sixes in his 53 to see his side past 200. Seamer Tonito Willett was the pick of the home attack, dismissing Gale, Liam Plunkett and Danny Briggs on his way to 3 for 60 off 22 overs.

Openers Adam Lyth and Jimmy Adams gave the Lions a solid start after captain James Hildreth won the toss and opted to bat first, putting on 74 before Adams was dismissed for a patient 24. Lyth departed soon after for a fluent 45, but Hildreth and Ravi Bopara steadied the innings with a 52-run partnership for the third wicket.

After Bopara's promising knock was ended by medium-pacer Calvin Williams, Gale shared in two crucial partnerships to ensure his side reached a competitive first-innings total. He put on 61 for the fourth wicket with Hildreth and another 37 for the fifth wicket with Johnny Bairstow, easing past fifty in the process.

Ben Stokes and Plunkett proved there was some fight left in the lower middle order, both making starts, but wickets fell at regular intervals and Kieran Powell ended the innings with a wicket maiden. He was back on the field shortly afterwards as he and fellow opener Shane Jeffers played out the remaining four overs of the day without losing a wicket.