Bell guides England through a comfortable fourth innings chase

Ian Bell (left) and Joe Root (right) scored an unbeaten 73 run stand as England defeated Australia by eight wickets at Edgbaston.
Ian Bell (left) and Joe Root (right) scored an unbeaten 73 run stand as England defeated Australia by eight wickets at Edgbaston.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

England 281 & 124-2 (Bell 65no) beat
Australia 136 & 265 by eight wickets
Third Test, Edgbaston, day three
Scorecard

Steven Finn finished with a six-wicket haul and Ian Bell a second sublime half-century as England beat Australia to win the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston by eight wickets.

Australia started the day on 168 for seven. It was a decent first half hour for them as Peter Nevill (59) and Mitchell Starc (58) extended the lead from 23 to 72, adding a valuable 64 runs for the eighth wicket.

Nevill had some luck with edges dropping short or missing the stumps narrowly but he brought up a gritty half-century in 126 balls with consecutive fours.

Nevill brought up the 200 in the 61st over with two fours off Finn (6-79).

However, Finn had the last laugh by getting the breakthrough with a back-of-a-length delivery down the leg-side that Nevill nicked to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler. Australia were 218 for eight after 65 overs.

Starc brought up his own fifty in 83 balls with a four and a six off Moeen Ali (1-64) in the 72nd over pushing Australia to 245 for eight with a lead of 100.

However, Ben Stokes (1-28) ended the 28-run ninth wicket stand with the second ball he bowled after being brought on as Josh Hazlewood (11) edged one to slip.

Nathan Lyon (11 not out) added another 20 before Ali finally got Starc’s wicket as Australia folded up on 265 in the 80th over setting England a fourth innings target of 121 to win.

Finn was the best bowler of the innings, single-handedly destroying the Australian middle order.

England survived two overs before lunch going in at four for no loss. Australia made an early breakthrough as Starc (1-33) disturbed Alastair Cook’s (7) stumps in the third over of the post-lunch session with a beautiful delivery that swung away late.

But Bell (65 not out) made sure England weren't bogged down, carrying on with the same tempo and gusto as he started, smacking two fours in the same over from Starc.

In the next over from Starc, Bell rattled three more fours, one down the ground, one through cover and another down the leg side.

However, in a key moment of the innings, the Australian skipper Michael Clarke dropped Bell in the same over at slip, with England at 36 for one after seven overs.

Bell showed no signs of a backward step as England reached 51 for one after 11 overs.

Hazlewood (1-21) gave Australia another ray of hope trapping Adam Lyth (12) lbw, although the very next ball Joe Root (38 not out) started with a smashing cut.

He carried on in similar fashion and would end up hitting the winning runs to put England 2-1 up in the series.

© Cricket World 2015