Simmons slams 282 as England toil
England 134 for 2 (Strauss 59*, Pietersen 12*) trail West Indies A 574 for 8 dec (Simmons 282, Barath 132) by 440 runs
Simmons, the nephew of former West Indies opener Phil, cracked eight sixes and 26 fours eventually declared on 574 for 8, shortly after tea on the second day. He even picked up a rare seven in one slapstick moment, as Steve Harmison's shy from the covers was fumbled by the keeper, Matt Prior, only for James Anderson's follow-up throw to clatter off the stumps and away to the boundary.
After the declaration, England's day got worse before it got better, as Alastair Cook was dismissed by Kevin McClean for a first-ball duck, but Andrew Strauss continued his good form with an unbeaten 59, as he and Ian Bell added 114 runs for the second wicket. Bell, however, once again gave his wicket away when well set. Having been dropped on 49, he was bowled around his legs by the spinner, Gavin Wallace, for 52, five overs before the close.
The day, however, belonged to Simmons. Having resumed on 171 overnight, he quickly laid into the spinner, Graeme Swann, cracking a flat six straight back down the ground after scorching a drive through the covers. A single off Paul Collingwood took him to his 200, which equalled his career-best, and two further sixes in the same Kevin Pietersen over showed he had no intention of slowing down.
England were visibly deflated in the field, although they did put up an early wicket when Sewnarine Chattergoon edged James Anderson to Matt Prior for 37. Steve Harmison then boosted his hopes of playing at Sabina Park next Wednesday with two quick breakthroughs after lunch - Leon Johnson was undone by extra bounce before the captain Darren Sammy was unluckily adjudged lbw for 14.
Simmons' masterclass eventually came to an end when Ryan Sidebottom trapped him lbw from around the wicket after more than nine-and-a-half hours at the crease - it was Sidebottom's first first-class wicket for six months. West Indies A went to tea on 561 for 6 and continued batting after the break, although Harmison worked up a good head of steam to claim two late wickets to finish with the hard-earned figures of 4 for 101.
Amid the toil, the one genuine piece of good news for England was the sight of Andrew Flintoff appearing as a substitute fielder. He had earlier tested his side strain with a gentle warm-up in the nets.