Bell smashes career-best 141 as England post 303-8


HOBART: Ian Bell smashed a career-best 141 to power England to a strong 303 for eight wickets in the one-day international tri-series against Australia at Hobart on Friday.

Put in to bat by Australia’s stand-in captain Steven Smith, Bell and Moeen Ali (46) added 113 for the opening wicket to give England a rollicking start.

An aggressive Bell, who hit 15 fours and one six in his 125-ball innings, appeared in good touch and took a firm step towards securing the opener’s role for the Feb. 19-March 29 World Cup ahead of Alex Hales.

He timed the ball sweetly and was not afraid to hit the ball over the in-field, reaching his half-century in 42 balls and then the three-figure mark in 92 balls with a pulled single off paceman Pat Cummins.

Cummins was punished by Moeen early on when the left-hander pulled the bowler for three consecutive sixes.

Bell also added 121 for the third wicket with Joe Root (69) but medium pacer Gurinder Sandhu pulled things back a bit for Australia by dismissing the centurion and England captain Eoin Morgan for a golden duck in three balls.

England could have posted a bigger total but lost six wickets in the last nine overs, including three in the last three deliveries of their innings, that yielded 51 runs. (Reuters)