Taylor puts Lions in charge

James Taylor blasted an unbeaten double century for the England Lions to push his claims for a place in a remodelled senior Test team.

The diminutive Nottinghamshire right-hander compiled an unbeaten 242 as the tourists declared on 605-7 to set up a push for victory on Saturday.

The 24-year-old featured twice in the home Test series against South Africa in the summer of 2012, but missed out on a place on the ill-fated Ashes tour of Australia where England were whitewashed.

As a consequence of that disastrous tour England are looking for new blood and Taylor's superb knock in the four-day match against Sri Lanka A in Dambulla will certainly not harm his case for inclusion when the senior Sri Lankan side play two Tests in England later this year.

The 24-year-old struck 30 fours and two sixes, and was ably assisted by 142 from Middlesex opener Sam Robson.

The Australia-born batsman pledged his future to England late last year and could be another who has designs on forcing his way into the senior side this summer.

The Lions eventually declared after passing 600 with Durham all-rounder Liam Plunkett adding an impressive unbeaten 74 down the order.

The hosts had reached 72-0 in their second innings, trailing by 244 runs, and will now have to bat out the majority of the final day to avoid defeat.