Bell Shines As England Cruise To Six-Wicket Win
England 251-4 (Bell 84no, Strauss 50) beat
Bangladesh 250-9 (Raqibul Hasan 76, Junaid Siddique 51) by six wickets
First One-Day International, Trent Bridge
Ian Bell stole the limelight on his return to England's One-Day International side with a beautifully-crafted half-century which guided his side to victory in the first game against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge.
After Raqibul Hasan and Junaid Siddique scored fluent half-centuries to steer Bangladesh to a score of 250 for nine, Bell finished unbeaten on a classy 84 in 101 balls as England cantered to a six-wicket win with a ball shy of five overs to spare.
Set 251 to win, England set off at a searing pace which was largely down to Andrew Strauss, who hit seven boundaries of high quality on his way to 50 in 37 balls before he was run out by centimetres courtesy of a direct hit from Mahmudullah.
Craig Kieswetter, with whom Strauss put on 75 for the first wicket, was the next man to fall when he swept Shakib Al Hasan to Faisal Hossain at deep square leg having made 32 in 40 balls before Bell added 80 with Paul Collingwood for the third wicket.
Bell's faultless innings was characterised by deft sweeps and immaculately placed lofted drives through the covers which illustrates the rare form he finds himself in.
Wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim probably wasn't sure which country he was in when a delivery from Hossain spat off the surface and cracked him on the side of the head, ending his involvement in the game and meaning Siddique took the gloves for the remainder of the run chase.
He was quickly into action to catch Collingwood (33) as he top-edged a sweep but otherwise looked as uncomfortable behind the stumps as Bell looked assured in front of them.
Despite the dismissal of Eoin Morgan for 23, the left-hander clipping Abdur Razzak into the hands of Shafiul Islam in the deep as he didn't seem sure whether to go for the shot fully or not, England cruised home with Michael Yardy unbeaten alongside Bell on ten.
Earlier, Raqibul, back in the side after ending a short-lived retirement, scored 76 in 95 balls and Siddique made 51 in 70 balls as Bangladesh asked England to chase a stiff target under lights.
After they won the toss and chose to bat first, their innings got off to a flyer as Tamim Iqbal took both James Anderson and Tim Bresnan for consecutive fours from their opening overs on his way to 28 in 22 balls before he was trapped in front by Stuart Broad as he tried to cut.
Imrul Kayes then drilled Anderson into the hands of Morgan at short cover before left-hander Siddique and right-hander Raqibul combined to add 66 for third wicket, which came when Siddique was trapped in front by left-arm spinner Yardy.
Shakib made a swift 20 before he was well held by Anderson at cover as he attempted to slap Broad for a third boundary and Rahim swung two huge sixes into the stands before he hold out in the deep.
Mahmudullah was trapped in front for four and after suffering with cramp, Raqibul was run out following a mix-up involving Shakib, his runner, and new batsman Hossain.
Reinstated captain Mashrafe Mortaza hammered one four but perished, caught in the deep by the recalled Bell, for five as he tried a repeat as wickets tumbled in the last five overs, for which Bangladesh had opted to take their batting Power Play.
Hossain was unbeaten on eight when Razzak (3) was bowled by Bresnan from the final delivery of the innings.
Anderson finished with figures of three for 74, Broad two for 43 and Bresnan two for 42.
England also handed a recall to James Tredwell after opting to rest Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann for the series.
© Cricket World 2010