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Ian Bell returns to form as England extend advantage, take lead towards 500 against India

Monday, 28 July 2014 - 9:02pm IST | Place: Southampton (England) | Agency: Reuters
  • Ian Bell Ian Bell AFP PHOTO

Ian Bell returned to form in spectacular fashion as he hit a superb unbeaten 133 against India to help England strengthen their dominant position on the second day of the third test on Monday.

Bell recovered from a tentative start to exhibit trademark elegance, bringing up his first hundred in 26 innings by thumping Ravindra Jadeja down the ground for six before hitting the spinner for two more boundaries and another maximum in the same over.

England, 1-0 down in the series, reached 452 for five in their first innings at tea after losing Joe Root and Mooen Ali in the afternoon session.

Gary Ballance, who shared a stand of 142 with Bell, was the victim of a poor decision just before lunch when he was given out caught behind for 156, despite no hint of an edge.

After the interval, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted to utilise his seamers in one over spells, attempting to break England's concentration.

It paid dividends early on as Root got a regulation edge to Dhoni after being tempted into a prod outside off stump by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Clearly buoyed by taking his first wicket, Kumar added the scalp of Moeen by teasing the batsman into taking on the short ball which he bottom edged to Ajinkya Rahane at second slip.

Towards the end of the session, the ball began to nibble around in the overcast conditions and debutant Jos Buttler survived a third umpire review after Ajinkya Rahane got his fingers to a low chance at second slip. 




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