Ian Bell

Ian Bell brought up his half-century in the second session of Day One of the second Test at Lord’s © Getty Images

By Jaideep Vaidya

Jul 18, 2013
Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both scored half-centuries as England took tea on Day One of the Lord’s Test of The Ashes at 183 for four. Bell remained unbeaten on 62 at the interval, along with Jonny Bairstow (28 not out).
Trott (58) was the only wicket to fall in the session, even as Bairstow was dramatically called back by the umpire after being clean bowled by Peter Siddle, after it turned out that the bowler had overstepped by a couple of millimetres.
After Trott uncharacteristically holed out to deep square-leg after bringing up his fifty early in the second session, Bell carried on and played with extreme confidence. He bombarded the cover-point region with boundaries and brought up his third score of 50-plus in three consecutive Ashes Test matches with a cheeky slice to the fence past the diving Phil Hughes at point. He timed the ball to perfection, not needing to use any kind of aggression as he helped England win the session.
Earlier in the morning, the hosts lost three early wickets and took lunch at 80 for three. It was a typical Lord’s pitch on offer to both teams Thursday morning. “This pitch is an absolute belter. It is a dry wicket,” tweeted Michael Vaughan prior to the start of play. England skipper Alastair Cook agreed and promptly elected to bat first after winning the toss, as he believed the pitch would dry up due to the heat. Michael Clarke concurred that he would have batted as well, and you would think it was advantage England before a ball was bowled.
However, the advantage was to last all of 25 deliveries for the hosts. Clarke and his former deputy, Shane Watson, aren’t considered to be the best of pals, more so after their former coach Mickey Arthur’s comments in leaked legal documents which hinted at a rift between the two. The British press had had a field day in the build up to the Test match as they looked to dig the dagger deeper into the Australian spine. However, it didn’t matter scant to Clarke as he brought Watson into the attack as the first change after just two overs of James Pattinson. Watson, back to bowling duties after a short hiatus, responded immediately as he trapped Cook in front on his second ball itself.
England’s morning was to get murkier as Ryan Harris, one of Australia’s two changes for the match, ran in and dismissed Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen in the next over to reduce the hosts to 28 for three. England had lost three wickets in the space of 11 balls. Even the Queen, who had been introduced to the two teams ahead of play, had seen enough and left the ground.

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell then combined to steady the wobbles of the England ship and did well to negotiate the charged up Australian pace attack until lunch was taken. Clarke did not bring on his only spinner, Ashton Agar, throughout the session and preferred to attack with pace. His quicks did well and bowled a fuller line, constantly nipping it around and asking the right questions.

Brief scores:

England 183 for 4 (Jonathan Trott 58, Ian Bell 62*; Ryan Harris 3 for 28) vs Australia.

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