New era starts with convincing win

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England have beaten Scotland by 39 runs after restricting the hosts to 133-9 in Aberdeen in a rain effected One Day International

Ian Bell top scored with a well-made half century while Alastair Cook, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root all helped England reach 167-6 in a game that was effectively a T20 after rain delayed the start and then interrupted the England innings.

Play eventually started at 4pm after Cook lost the toss and his side were inserted to bat in the 23-overs-a-side game with Nottinghamshire bowler Harry Gurney handed an England debut.

That meant Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes were the two players who were omitted from the 13-man squad with Ian Bell joining Cook in opening the batting and they got off to a solid if not spectacular start.

The opening pair made 44-0 after the opening eight overs in a watchful beginning in tricky conditions in Aberdeen. Bell decided the time was then right to kick-on and he hit a six down the ground followed by a reverse sweep to the boundary to help England to 15 from the over.

It wasn’t long before the Warwickshire man reached his half century after his second six took him to 48 before a well-run two brought up his 50 to the cheers of the crowd as the rain began to fall.

After Bell was bowled the very next ball Morgan was promoted up the order and timed his second ball of the innings through to the off-side boundary before the umpires decided the rain was falling too heavily with the score at 87-1.

After a delay the players reappeared but the match was reduced to 20-overs-a-side which meant the visitors upped their run-rate, despite losing a cluster of wickets to end on 167-6.

Cook made 44 before he was caught by Calum MacLeod before Buttler joined him back in the dressing room for a nine. Ravi Bopara was then the next man in after England reshuffled their batting line-up but Morgan was the next man to go, having made a quick-fire 31 from 23 balls.

Root was the man in at number six and he did superbly well to score 17 off just six deliveries and then Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan finished their innings off with the latter hitting the final ball of the 20 overs for a six.

Duckworth-Lewis then came into play and Scotland’s target was then adjusted to 173 and they started their chase in stuttering fashion by reaching 22-2 after the opening five overs after Jimmy Anderson bowled Matty Cross and then MacLeod inside the powerplay.

The hosts then found themselves at 55-3 at the halfway stage after James Tredwell bowled captain Kyle Coetzer for eight. In truth Scotland didn’t look like winning the game at any stage and despite some power hitting from top order batsman Matt Machan but he was caught by Bell of the bowling of Bopara for 33 with the required rate creeping up towards 12 an over.

However, the top scorer was Michael Leask who reached 42 off just 16 balls in a magnificent knock as he smashed Tredwell around the park before Anderson caught him on the boundary looking for his sixth six of his innings. That left the hosts on 95-5 as they battled to try and keep in with a chance of a shock victory.

England just proved too strong and another wicket by Bopara in the 18th over helped his side to a resounding 39 run victory over their near neighbours in the one-off fixture.

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Ian Bell
England cricket

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