Bell rings alarm bell with a record breaking inning before Tri seriesIan Bell's England-record 187 meant the tourists warmed up for the Tri-Series with a crushing defeat of an Australian Prime Minister's XI Wednesday.Bell's 145-ball stay, featuring 20 fours and three sixes, set up a sensational
Ian Bell's England-record 187 meant the tourists warmed up for the Tri-Series with a crushing defeat of an Australian Prime Minister's XI Wednesday.
Bell's 145-ball stay, featuring 20 fours and three sixes, set up a sensational score of 391 for six, aided also by Moeen Ali and James Taylor each making 71.
Despite a brief scare from Glenn Maxwell's 67-delivery ton, which he extended to 136, England were victorious by 60 runs under lights at Canberra's Manuka Oval thanks also to Stuart Broad returning 4-40.
Broad, playing his second straight game while fellow fit-again seamer James Anderson was rested, importantly ousted Maxwell before mopping up the tail.
Bell, batting for all-but one ball of the innings, posted England's highest limited-overs score, perfect preparation for Friday's Tri-Series opener versus Australia.
Bell's stunning effort may not have come in a one-day international, where England's high watermark remains Robin Smith's 167 from 1993, but it still ranks as a wonderful knock.
England's mammoth total matched their best previous score in the 50-over game, made against Bangladesh in 2005 when Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood hit centuries.
Bell's innings was fitting for a batsman of his pedigree, paced to near perfection and containing only one real half-chance on 68 when a grass-level opportunity was not gathered by Maxwell.
He reached 50 in 55 balls, 100 in 102 and then allowed himself to open up, clearing the ropes three times as he upped the ante in the first innings' closing overs.
It would have been apt for him to carry his bat through the innings, or even to have reached the 200-run landmark, but he perished off the penultimate ball of the innings, drilling Jason Behrendorff to home skipper Chris Rogers.
Rogers' opposite number and Middlesex team-mate Eoin Morgan won the toss, but Bell and Moeen had shaky starts.
Pat Cummins, Australia's World Cup tyro, hurried Bell in the first over only for a loose chip to fall short of mid-on.
Bell responded with an imperious cover-drive at Cummins' next visit and that was as good as it got for the 21-year-old, who shipped 52 in six overs.
Moeen came even closer to an early exit, turning Behrendorff to short midwicket, where Maxwell failed to gather a one-handed chance.
From there on Moeen threw caution to the wind, taking full advantage of the fielding restrictions as he struck six boundaries off nine balls from Behrendorff and Simon Mackin.
He had 50 from 29 balls and raced to 71 before holing out to a Maxwell full-toss.
Bell had been content with a supporting role and his second-wicket stand with Taylor was as low-key as it was clinical.
The pair added 141 at almost a run-a-ball, accumulating with minimal risk but complete control.
England were sitting pretty at 201 for one after 30 overs, with Bell easing to his own hundred in 102 balls.
The landmark inspired Bell to kick on and his next 43 balls at the crease contained 12 more fours and three sixes.
By then, Taylor had fallen, but Joe Root's 13 and Jos Buttler's lively 25 tipped the score towards 400.
The PM's XI appeared to be playing for little more than pride, especially when Chris Woakes removed Cameron Bancroft and Rogers was brilliantly caught off Chris Jordan by the sprinting Buttler.
But Maxwell, who eventually matched Bell's 20 fours, is a formidable striker and set about leaving his mark on the old enemy.
He lined up Jordan with three fours and an audacious six over cover in a single over, powering him to 50 in 32 balls.
Ravi Bopara was also to Maxwell's liking and he was equally productive against the spin of Moeen and James Tredwell.
Maxwell had 97 to his name when he clobbered Bopara for six over long-on, raising his hundred in 35 deliveries fewer than Bell.
The batting powerplay, taken in the 28th over, seemed the decisive moment.
When Maxwell took three successive fours off the returning Broad, the target looked attainable, but the seamer fought back with two dots before having the dangerman held at gully by Taylor.
The chance of an upset went with Maxwell as England turned 216 for four into 331 all out in the 49th over.
Broad claimed Cummins and Behrendorff in the space of two balls and took out last man Mackin for his four-for.