Bell hits maiden double-century as England move to 591/6 (Lunch report)

August 20th, 2011 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Virender Sehwag London, Aug 20 (IANS) Ian Bell stroked a maiden double century as England progressed to a massive 591/6 in their first innings at lunch on the third day of the fourth and last cricket Test against India at The Oval here Saturday.

Bell (235, 364b, 23×4, 2×6), resuming at 181 overnight, glanced Shantakumaran Sreesanth for his 20th four to bring up his 200 and to go past his previous best of 194 against South Africa at Lord’s in 2009. He is also the third England bastman, after Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook, to score a double hundred in the series.

Bell was eventually dismissed by Suresh Raina, trapped leg before going for a sweep, and he walked off to a standing ovation.

India picked two early wickets through Sreesanth (3-123), but once again failed to keep up the pressure.

At the luncheon break, Ravi Bopara was batting on 44 and Matt Prior 18 with England eyeing yet another record of scoring 600 plus in consecutive innings. Rain, however, has extended the lunch break. The first day of the match had to be abandoned after lunch.

Sreesanth was the pick of the Indian bowlers, running in with purpose. He dismissed nightwatchman James Anderson 20 minutes after resumption of play. The fast bowler edged to Virender Sehwag at second slip and Sreesanth gave him a long, hard stare as he left the crease.

The fast bowler soon accounted for Eoin Morgan, who is named England skipper for the One-Day International against Ireland. Sreesanth, bowling from wide of the crease, lured Morgan into a drive and the edge carried to wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Morgan’s dismissal brought in Bopara who looked nervy at the start, but settled down hitting three boundaries.

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