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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 07:11 GMT
Bell hits century to lift England
Tour match, Adelaide, day two of three (close): South Australia 247-7 dec v England 303-6

Ian Bell salutes the crowd after scoring a century against South Australia
Bell takes the plaudits after scoring a century
Ian Bell warmed up for next week's first Ashes Test in style by scoring 132 against South Australia.

Bell and Paul Collingwood, who made 80, rescued England from a shaky 34-3 on the second day in Adelaide.

England lost night-watchman Matthew Hoggard and Alastair Cook, tamely caught off Jason Gillespie early on.

But Bell and Collingwood shared a stand of 178 and Kevin Pietersen weighed in with a quickfire 32 as the tourists ended the day on 303-6, 56 runs ahead.


It was an uncomfortable morning session for England, after the loss of two early wickets.

Hoggard, who had come in late on Friday after Andrew Strauss' dismissal for a duck, wafted outside his off stump at a Tait outswinger, resulting in a comfortable catch for wicket-keeper Shane Deitz.

Cook, promoted to opener after Marcus Trescothick's sudden departure, hung his bat out limply at a Gillespie delivery and snicked a simple catch to Deitz, leaving England reeling.

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood warmed up for the first Test with a fine supporting knock

But after evading some early bouncers from Tait and Daniel Harris, Bell and Collingwood began to settle and play some handsome drives.

Collingwood, who came in above Pietersen in a hint that he could also be played higher than expected in next week's Ashes opener in Brisbane, was the first to reach his half century.

But he was caught on 80 by Deitz off the bowling of leg-spinner Cullen Bailey.

Bell, whose innings contained 12 fours and a six, was finally caught by South Australia captain Darren Lehmann off Tait, who later left the field with cramp.

Pietersen made cracked five boundaries in his rapid 35-ball knock before being bowled by Gillespie.

Captain Andrew Flintoff and keeper Geraint Jones were at the crease at stumps hoping to build England's score - and the team's confidence - further ahead of the big date against Australia at the Gabba.

606 DEBATE: How will you keep up with the Ashes action?





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