Bell strikes again in warm-up match

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) England batsman Ian Bell is looking in ominous form ahead of the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India. He made easy work of the Delhi bowlers in the team's final warm-up match, scoring a fine century here at the Ferozeshah Kotla Tuesday.

England XI, who were humbled by India 'A' in the opening warm-up tie at the Palam 'A' Ground here, put up an impressive show with the bat, smashing 294/5 in 50 overs.

While Bell (108) stole the show, captain Alastair Cook (44), Eoin Morgan (52) and Craig Kieswetter (41) made significant contributions to the total.

At one stage, it did not look like that England XI will get close to 300 from 130/3 in 28.3 overs. But Bell and Morgan turned the tide by sharing the fourth-wicket partnership of 113 runs off 91 balls. Kieswetter came up with some lusty shots towards the end, hammering Delhi pacer Sumit Narwal for two sixes to finish the innings.

Bell and Cook ensured a solid start for the visitors before Narwal found the stumps of the skipper, making it 70/1 in 15.3 overs. It was a good knock for Cook ahead of the first ODI in Rajkot Friday as he had missed the Palam game due to cold.

Bell continued from where he left off in Sunday's tie when he scored 91. He was watchful initially but played all the shots in the book later on. In all, he hit 10 fours and two sixes.

Delhi speedster Parvinder Awana proved expensive, leaking 53 runs in 8 overs.

Varun Sood was the stand-out bowler for the domestic team, picking up three wickets, including Bell's.

A handful of spectators braved the cold to watch the game and reserved their loudest cheer for Kevin Pietersen, who was rested.

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