Ian Bell was in fine form ahead of England’s first Test against New Zealand next week with a well-struck 62 from 105 balls in Warwickshire’s County Championship draw against Middlesex at Edgbaston.

The 31-year-old executed some magnificent straight drives early in his innings as he hit six fours on his way to reaching a half-century. Bell later added another two boundaries before being trapped LBW by former Warwickshire colleague Corey Ambrose.

Bell’s teammate Jonathan Trott also knocked a half-century as the England duo edged the Bears towards a draw after Middlesex had declared on 428-5.

Despite being dropped on five off Tim Murtagh, Trott collected himself to hit an impressive 97-ball 50, including nine fours. Murtagh did manage to get his revenge later on, having the batsman taken at first slip by Dawid Malan for 65.

With a busy international period around the corner for England, beginning with the start of England’s Test series against New Zealand at Lord’s, the duo are unlikely to play for the Bears again in the coming months.

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