Bell: A perfect innings

Bell???s knock ??? the highest by an Englishman in limited-overs cricket ??? came off 145 deliveries and featured 20 fours and three sixes as the 32-year-old flourished upon his return to the top of the order.

The Warwickshire star was preferred to Alex Hales and Gary Ballance as Moeen Ali???s opening partner in the wake of Alastair Cook???s jettisoning from the one-day arena.

And Bell hopes he can replicate his fireworks in Canberra throughout the winter when England tackle Australia and India in a Tri-Series and then compete in the World Cup.

“One thing I’ve probably been guilty of in the time I’ve been opening is getting to 60, 70 or 80 but never really gone on and enjoyed myself the way I did today (Wednesday),??? said Bell, who has notched three centuries in his 150 ODIs.

“I’ve been guilty in one-day cricket of not converting fifties into match-winning scores, but this is what I can do if I bat [for around 50 overs].

“I’ve spoken to Peter Moores about that. I believe I can play at the top of the order for England and today was pretty much the perfect template.

???That’s how I’d like to play in one-day cricket and if I can do that a couple of times this winter, that’s great for the team.”


Bell was dropped for the final five matches of England???s ODI series defeat in Sri Lanka before Christmas having batted at three in the opening two encounters.

The right-hander says he was unsure whether he would return to the side following Cook???s axing but was buoyed by a talk with new skipper Eoin Morgan in which he was told he would be handed the opening berth.

“Coming out here I didn’t know where I was going to bat or if I would start, so it was nice to have a good chat with Morgs and for him to say I would get first crack at opening,??? added Bell. “That filled me with a lot of confidence.

“I’ve done a lot of netting in the last month or so but not a lot of game time, so it was nice to get a really big score in a competitive match.

“You want it to be competitive ??? people playing for places is a good thing ??? but it’s nice to get on the tour and start well.”

England posted 391-6 from their 50 overs, with Moeen Ali and James Taylor (both 71) chipping in with half centuries, and won by 60 runs after dismissing the Prime Minister???s XI, for whom Glenn Maxwell top scored with an 89-ball 136,