England punished by Simmons
Lendl Simmons made 282 as West Indies A piled up 574-8 on day two of the tour match against England, who closed at 134-2 in reply.
Last Updated: 31/01/09 8:21pm
West Indies A 574-8 dec (L M P Simmons 282, A Barath 132, S J Harmison 4-101) v England 134-2 (A J Strauss 59 no, I R Bell 52)
Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell struck half-centuries as England reached 134-2 in reply to West Indies A's 574-8 declared by the close of day two of their final warm-up fixture at Warner Park, St Kitts.
A career-best 282 from Lendl Simmons led the hosts to a mammoth total before they finally declared early in the evening session.
England's reply began badly when newly appointed vice captain Alastair Cook was caught in the gully for a first-ball duck in Kevin McLean's (1-34) opening over.
Strauss and Bell shared a century stand for the second wicket before Bell departed for 52 shortly before the close, bowled round his legs attempting to sweep wrist spinner Gavin Wallace (1-16).
The Warwickshire batsman's late dismissal could cost him a place in the XI for the opening Test, starting in Jamaica on Wednesday.
Bell is likely battling it out with Owais Shah - who scored a century in the opening warm-up game - for the final spot in England's line-up at Sabina Park.
Shah is listed to bat at number six in this match and is almost certain to get the chance to press his claims at some point on the third and final day.
Strauss (59no) will resume in the company of Kevin Pietersen (12no) on the final morning.
England had been kept in the field until after tea on day two as Simmons made rapid progress from his overnight position of 171.
The 24-year-old, nephew of former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons, had batted for just short of 10 hours when his innings was finally terminated by Ryan Sidebottom's first first-class scalp in six months - trapped lbw from around the wicket.
But the dismissal did not signal an instant declaration by a home team clearly intent on making England labour before next Wednesday's first Test.
That eventually came following a quick double strike from Steve Harmison after the tea interval.
Simmons hit eight sixes and 26 fours during 381 balls of crease occupation and was also given a helping hand in mid-afternoon when two separate overthrows in one incident gifted him a 'seven'.
After playing off-spinner Graeme Swann into the off-side, Simmons ambled for a single, which turned into a three when Harmison's wayward throw was not gathered by wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
He then gained further value when James Anderson's powerful return from midwicket ricocheted off the stumps at the batsman's end to the rope at third man.
That comedy of errors highlighted the lethargy which infiltrated the fielding side on a testing second day of three.
Lancashire seamer Anderson (2-92) doubled his personal wicket tally in the morning session when Sewnarine Chattergoon (37) nibbled outside off-stump and the resulting edge carried through to Prior.
Simmons celebrated the second double century of his career in the next over, bowled by Paul Collingwood (0-75), with a clipped single off his pads.
And the runs continued to flow - Swann (0-160) was driven majestically through the covers for four and then cracked for a flat, straight six - Simmons' sixth of the innings, while the seventh and eighth followed later in the same Kevin Pietersen over.
Durham paceman Harmison's post-lunch spell reaped a double breakthrough - extra bounce undoing Leon Johnson (26) and a fortuitous lbw decision accounting for home captain Darren Sammy (14).
Harmison went on to finish with figures of 4-101 after removing Devon Thomas (38) and McClean (10) with extra pace.
England's spirits were raised when Andrew Flintoff appeared briefly as a substitute fielder during the afternoon session.
The Lancashire all-rounder, left out of this match as a precautionary measure, tested out his side strain in the morning when he warmed up alongside his fellow bowlers during practice.
He sent down three deliveries at a very gentle pace and later headed to the nets for a more extensive workout.