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Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Sunday, 6 September 2009 19:21 UK

Bell ton keeps Bears hopes alive

PRO40 DIVISION TWO, Edgbaston:
Warwickshire 246-6 beat Derbyshire 136 by 110 runs (Warwicks 2pts)


Ian Bell
Ian Bell returned to top form to hit his fifth century in one-day cricket

Warwickshire kept their Pro40 Division Two title hopes alive as Ian Bell's century helped to beat Derbyshire by 110 runs at Edgbaston.

Bell made 105, backed by 55 off the last 26 balls from former Derbyshire duo Rikki Clarke and Ant Botha, as the Bears totalled 246-6.

But Derbyshire were then bowled out inside 30 overs for just 136.

Indian Test paceman Sreesanth and Neil Carter each took three wickets as Warwickshire won at a canter.

Unbeaten Warwickshire move up to fourth place in the table, two points behind Division Two leaders Kent.

But, with seven points from five games, thanks to two wins, two abandonments and a tie, they still have it all very much in their own hands.

They have a game in hand on Kent, who they meet at Canterbury next Sunday (13 September, 1245 BST).

But the really tough part of the equation is that the Bears' final two matches are also away from home, a day/night game at The Oval against Surrey on Wednesday week (16 September, 1540 BST), before a trip to Old Trafford to face Lancashire on the final day (27 September, 1245 BST).

With Bell in this sort of form, the Bears should certainly not be written off.

His batting exuded class and confidence as he took two fours from Nantie Hayward's first over, then cleared the long on rope when the former Worcestershire bowler began a second spell.

With boundaries more readily available in the first part of his innings, Bell reached 50 from 42 balls before milking the bowling for ones and twos in a slower second 50 which included only four fours.

The only impediment to the fifth one-day century of Bell's career was for a minor back spasm when he had made 81.

Bell's beautiful innings was a fitting way to mark the demise of one of the ugliest sights of English cricket - the old Edgbaston pavilion, built in the 1890s, which is being demolished to make way for a £30m redevelopment.



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