Bell survives bizarre run out to guide England (Tea report)

July 31st, 2011 - 11:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 31 (IANS) Ian Bell scored a magnificent 137 before being involved in a bizarre run out drama on the last ball of the second session as England entered tea at 254/4 in the second innings only to be called back by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the break.

The boos which greeted the Indian team as they walked out on the ground, quickly turned into cheers and a standing ovation when they saw Bell coming out to bat, with England starting the last session at 254/3, with Eoin Morgan (21) at the other end and a healthy lead of 167 runs on the third day of the second cricket Test.

At the last ball before the tea, Morgan had flicked Ishant Sharma to deep square leg, where Praveen lunged to save the ball at the boundary rope. The fielder thought it was four and so did the England batsmen. But it wasn’t.

The throw came back but Bell was already out of his crease thinking it was tea even though the umpires had not called tea. The Indian fielders took off the bails and appealed for a run out, much to the shock of English batsmen.

The field umpires referred it to third umpire Billy Bowden, who ruled it in favour of India. The mood in the England dressing room turned sour as a bewildered Bell, clueless over his dismissal, and Morgan walked back.

Before this, England continued to dominate the third day with Bell hitting a fluent hundred. His 178-ball innings included 22 fours. The bright sun eased out the track, and Bell along with Kevin Pietersen exploited the conditions during the 162-run third-wicket partnership.

Pietersen, who made an uncharacteristic slow start, too raised his game and runs came thick and fast for England before a capacity crowd.

Sreesanth broke the partnership when Pietersen edged to Dhoni. His knock came in 120 balls with the help of seven fours.

The day so far has gone in England’s way. The hosts began solidly to enter the lunch at 130/2, after wiping out the first innings defecit of 67 runs and establishing a lead of 63 runs.

Resuming at overnight 24 for one, England dominated the first session with Bell leading the charge. Runs came at fast clip with the Indian bowlers erring in lin and England scoring 106 runs in 27 overs, almost at the rate of four per over.

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