Ian Bell posted England’s highest ever one-day scoring as he hit for 187 in a magnificent win against Australia’s Prime Minister’s XI.
Bell, who was only recently recalled to the squad following the axe of previous captain Alastair Cook before Christmas, hit 20 fours and three sixes as he faced 145 balls.
His impressive display helped England achieve a total of 391-6 which saw them win their final preparation game for the Tri-Series against Australia and India by 60 runs.
Records all round
Bell’s haul is the highest an England batsman has achieved in limited overs cricket, besting the 167 that Robin Smith racked up in a 1993 defeat to Australia.
And the squad as a whole has reason to be cheerful after their 391 runs equalled their best previous score in a 50-over game achieved in a 2005 win against Bangladesh; a game that Paul Collingwood and Andrew Strauss both hit centuries in.
Rang the bell
Bell paced his efforts to perfection as he reached 50 in 55 balls, 100 in 102 and opened up after that hitting three sixes in his closing overs.
Number one batsman Moeen Ali impressed too as he hit 13 fours in a 49-ball total of 71 and, by the time he was put out by the spin of bowler Glenn Maxwell, his partnership with Bell had already achieved 113 runs for England in 15 overs.
As the Tri-Series edged closer and closer it was uncertain who would open alongside Moeen Ali, with Bell and Alex Hales the two favourites. But Bell’s shattering performance in Canberra makes a strong case for him getting the nod come Friday.