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Bell frustrates Sussex with impressive century
7:55pm Monday 14th April 2014 in Sport
SUSSEX could not dislodge stand-in Warwickshire captain Ian Bell as he underpinned the home fightback with a century on day two of the LV County Championship Division One match at Edgbaston.
England batsman Bell (144no) shared stands of 52 with Chris Woakes, 132 with Rikki Clarke (79) and then an unbroken 69 alongside Jeetan Patel in a close-of-play 387-7.
Deputising for the injured Jim Troughton, Bell made a duck in Warwickshire's first-innings 87 all out but - as well as reviving his county here - demonstrated some heartening early-season form to England's supporters.
Second time round, starting with a deficit of 142, it was Bell who did by far the most to ensure Sussex must fight after all to add a second victory in as many matches after starting the season with an impressive home success against Middlesex.
Bell completed his 166-ball hundred, and the century partnership with Clarke, with the same shot - for two runs, into the leg-side off slow left-armer Ashar Zaidi - to add to his 11 fours and a six.
Warwickshire had looked down and out after a miserable first day, and looked in trouble again on 49-3.
Seamers Chris Jordan and Steve Magoffin added to their first-innings gains by nipping out an opener each, and then they combined to see off Jonathan Trott (26).
Tim Ambrose was neatly held low in the slips by Ed Joyce off the miserly Jon Lewis, before Woakes kept Bell company either side of lunch.
The stand passed 50, but Jordan then got a little extra bounce to have Woakes edging to second slip and leave the Bears barely in credit on an effective five for five.
By then Bell had brought up his 50 with his eighth four, a trademark back cut off Jordan.
After tea, Clarke moved to his half-century too - picking up a painful blow to his right hand in the process, with the pull off Jordan that took him there.
Clarke and Keith Barker both went caught-behind to former Warwickshire seamer James Anyon and then Magoffin with the second new ball - but there was no shifting Bell as he steered his team into an unexpected lead of 245 runs.