Lions duo hungry for runs
Double-century stands put England second string in strong position
Last Updated: 20/05/11 7:37pm
Morgan smased four sixes and 24 fours on his way to 156 not out
Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel hit centuries as England Lions dominated on day one of their tour match against Sri Lanka at Derby.
After coming together with the Lions on 162-4, the pair put on a double-century stand to push the home side on to 394-4 at stumps.
Morgan and Patel, who are still likely to miss out on selection for England's squad for the first Test, ended the day unbeaten on 156 and 101 respectively.
In contrast Ravi Bopara, who is still thought to be the frontrunner to fill England's vacant number six slot, could manage just 17.
The tourists made an early breakthrough when Thisara Perera bowled Jimmy Adams with a Yorker in the fourth over.
But fellow opener James Taylor dug in, the Leicestershire batsman striking a patient 76 before he was caught behind off Dilhara Fernando.
Bopara had been and gone long before that though, the Essex batsman also being caught behind off a Fernando delivery after facing 25 balls.
James Hildreth (35) added 58 with Taylor for the third wicket until Nuwan Pradeep struck to remove the Lions skipper in the 29th over.
Taylor, who struck seven fours and two sixes during his 137-ball stay at the crease, became the the Lions fourth wicket to fall, bringing Morgan and Patel together.
Morgan went on to reach his hundred from 128 balls; he ended the day having already struck 24 fours and four sixes in a timely ton that will have not so much nudged the watching selectors but given them a real dig in the ribs.
Patel, who has been out of favour with England's selectors in recent times due to fitness issues, will have also increased his stock value with his ton, which came from 141 balls and included 14 fours.