For whom the Bell toils: Ian’s 95 gives Eng­land the edge

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

IAN BELL’S mas­ter­ful 95 not out guided Eng­land into a strong po­si­tion at stumps on the third day of the first Ashes Test yes­ter­day as Aus­tralia were left fum­ing by the fact Stu­art Broad was still at the crease.

Eng­land at the close were 326 for six in their sec­ond in­nings, a lead of 261 runs, with Broad 47 not out, hav­ing so far helped Bell add an un­bro­ken 108 for the sev­enth wicket.

Broad, how­ever, had a mas­sive slice of luck when given not out on 37 by umpire Aleem Dar af­ter Aus­tralia ap­pealed for a catch by Michael Clarke at first slip off Ash­ton Agar.

Broad stood his ground and, with Aus­tralia hav­ing used up their two re­views in the in­nings, the tourists ul­ti­mately had to ac­cept the ver­dict even though re­plays showed a thick edge that had first come off the gloves of Brad Haddin.

Aus­tralia coach Dar­ren Lehmann’s reaction was plain to see and on the field tem­pers frayed when James Pat­tin­son con­tin­ued ap­peal­ing af­ter umpire Kumar Dhar­masena had re­jected an lbw ap­peal against Bell, on 94.

This in­nings, which saw him pass 6,000 runs in his 89th Test, was an es­pe­cially im­por­tant one for Bell.

A crit­i­cism of the 31-yearold right-han­der is that he has all too rarely scored runs when Eng­land most needed him .

And af­ter 35 in­nings with­out adding to his tally of 17 Test hun­dreds, Eng­land dearly wanted Bell to go on to three fig­ures with this knock.

By the close, Bell, in at 121 for four, had al­most done just that, hav­ing bat­ted for over five­hours while hit­ting 12 fours.

Eng­land re­sumed on 80 for two, with Alas­tair Cook 37 not out and Kevin Pi­etersen 35 not out. But they lost both se­nior bats­men be­fore lunch.

Pi­etersen looked in good touch while mak­ing 64 out of a third-wicket stand of 110, strik­ing 12 fours, but fell when he played on to Pat­tin­son.

Opener Cook spent more than four painstak­ing hours com­pil­ing ex­actly 50 runs.

But he be­came Agar’s first Test wicket when he aimed leg side across the line of a de­liv­ery from the 19-year-old lef­t­arm spin­ner, had him caught by a leap­ing Clarke at slip.

Jonny Bairstow didn’t set­tle and fell for 15.

Bell, on 34, was given out by Dhar­masena af­ter an lbw ap­peal by medium-pacer Shane Wat­son.

How­ever, Bell re­viewed the ver­dict and, with re­plays show­ing the ball miss­ing leg stump, he was re­prieved.

Matt Prior scored briskly while mak­ing 31.

But, af­ter Aus­tralia had taken the new ball, the wick­et­keeper gave his wicket away when he hooked a Peter Sid­dle bouncer straight to Ed Cowan at mid­wicket.

Eng­land’s sev­enth- wicket duo re­mained watch­ful af­ter tea but Broad, on his Not­ting­hamshire home ground, gave the crowd some­thing to cheer when he cover drove left-arm quick Mitchell Starc and square cut Pat­tin­son for two stylish fours.

He gave a half chance when, on 29, he swept at Agar and short leg Cowan, on the move in an­tic­i­pa­tion of Broad’s shot, failed to hold a right-handed chance. – Sapa-AFP

Getty Im­ages

DE­FI­ANT: Ian Bell hits out to give Eng­land hope at Trent Bridge yes­ter­day.

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