Taylor stars for Lions
Captain hits century as Lions go 1-0 up in one-day series
Last Updated: 12/08/11 6:52pm
Taylor: century for Lions
James Taylor hit a fine century on Friday as England Lions scored a 97-run one-day victory over Sri Lanka A at Worcester.
The 21-year-old captain made 106 runs in all - his highest List A score - with one six and seven fours coming off the 120 balls he faced at New Road.
The Lions made a total of 310-8 off their 50 overs - a target that proved far too challenging for the tourists, who were dismissed for 213 in 41.2 overs, with paceman Stuart Meaker taking 3-40.
Taylor has been a heavy scorer for the Lions in first-class matches but not so prolific in one-day games until now.
He scored an unbeaten 168 for Leicestershire in their crushing four-day win over Sri Lanka A last month and after making 98 and 76 against the tourists in the Lions' four-day draw at Scarborough recently, he clearly has a liking for their bowlers.
Taylor's latest exploits, during which he completed half-century stands with Joe Root (62), Ben Stokes (30) and Jonny Bairstow (59), gave the Lions an ideal start to their three-match one-day series.
It continues at Worcester on Sunday, with the final game coming at Northampton two days later.
After being put in, the Lions lost their first wicket in the second over when Alex Hales was bowled leg stump by Tharanga Lakshitha.
Chris Nash followed eight overs later, falling to an excellent catch at short cover by Kosola Kulasekara off Seekuge Prasanna.
His dismissal heralded the start of a strong partnership between Root and Taylor, who was back at the same ground where he played second-XI cricket for Worcestershire.
Root reached his half century off 54 balls and put on 94 in 17 overs with Taylor before being comfortably caught at deep square leg by Kulasekara off spinner Sajeewa Weerakoon.
The Yorkshire batsman, who replaced Ravi Bopara following the latter's inclusion in the England Test team against India, hit seven fours off 66 deliveries.
Taylor then put on a further 67 in 14 overs with Stokes before reaching his century off 115 balls with one six and six fours.
He also added 79 in 6.4 overs with Bairstow, whose entertaining 26-ball cameo contained four sixes and four fours.
Taylor, whose previous best List A score was 103 not out for Leicestershire against Warwickshire last year, was finally caught in the covers by Kaushal Silva off Lakshitha.
Kulasekara produced Sri Lanka's best figures with 3-65, which included the wicket of Bairstow.
Their highest scorer was opener Lahiru Thirmanna, whose innings of 61 included nine fours off 50 balls.