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Bell foils Australia again in Ashes Test

 LONDON, July 18 (AFP): Ian Bell carried on from where he left off as England recovered to 183 for four at tea today, the first day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Bell, whose second innings 109 set up Ashes-holders England’s tense 14-run first Test win over Australia in Nottingham last week, was 62 not out after adding 99 for the fourth wicket with Warwickshire colleague Jonathan Trott (58).

Jonny Bairstow, ‘bowled’ by Peter Siddle on 21 only to be reprieved by the third umpire checking for a no-ball, was 28 not out having helped Bell compile a fifth-wicket stand so far worth 56 runs.

Bell and Trott came together with England in dire straits at 28 for three after England captain Alastair Cook had won the toss and opted to bat on a gloriously sunny day at the ‘home of cricket’.

Trott, often criticised for slow scoring, struck 11 fours in almost giddy fashion before he became recalled Australia quick Ryan Harris’s third wicket of the innings.

After the teams were presented before play to Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of both Britain and Australia, it was the tourists who bossed the early exchanges.

England were soon three wickets down with Cook, opening partner Joe Root and dangerman Kevin Pietersen all out cheaply.

Shane Watson got the ball rolling for Australia when he brought one back into Cook’s pads to have the left-hander lbw for 12.

Harris, recalled after Australia dropped the wayward Mitchell Starc, then took two wickets in an over.

The 33-year-old, playing just the 13th Test of his injury-ravaged career and first in more than a year, then struck with the second ball of his third over when he had Root lbw for six.

Root referred the decision and after all the controversy surrounding the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) in the first Test, it was no surprise that New Zealand’s Tony Hill, now in the third umpire’s chair, took several minutes before upholding Sri Lankan on-field official Kumar Dharmasena’s decision that the ball had hit pad first.

Four balls later, Harris shaped a delivery up the slope which Pietersen, on two, nicked to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Trott and Bell repaired the early damage on what was a fundamentally good pitch and took England to 80 for three at lunch.

The first over after the interval saw Trott take two fours off Siddle, a trademark clip off his legs followed soon afterwards by a cover drive.

Trott looked in excellent touch until he was undone by a short ball from Harris and top-edged a pull to give Usman Khawaja, the other change to the Australia side after batsman Ed Cowan was axed, a simple catch at deep square leg.

Bell’s ninth four, a square drive off fast bowler James Pattinson, saw him to his fifty.

SCORECARD (at tea)

England 1st innings: Cook lbw b Watson 12, Root lbw b Harris 6, Trott c Khawaja b Harris 58, Pietersen c Haddin b Harris 2, Bell not out 62, Bairstow not out 28. Extras: (LB-11, W-2, NB-2) 15. Total: (for 4 wkts in 53 overs) 183. Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-26, 3-28, 4-127. Bowling: Pattinson 13-2-52-0; Harris 13-4-28-3; Watson 7-3-22-1; Siddle 12-1-48-0; Agar 8-1-22-0.

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