Bell blasts 192 in England`s final warm-up

Brisbane: England`s Ian Bell dispelled any doubts about his ability to produce big scores on Australian soil by completing an innings of 192 against Australia A in Hobart on Friday.

The 28-year-old batsman resumed on 121 on the third morning of England`s final warm-up match for the Ashes and rattled off another 71 runs before being caught by Ed Cowan off the bowling of leg spinner Steve Smith.

Bell struggled in his first Ashes series in England in 2005 and four half centuries in Australia in 2006-7, while failing to make his mark with a really big score as England crashed to a 5-0 whitewash.

After a run of poor form, he missed the first two Tests of last year`s series in England but returned with two more half centuries in the last three matches, including a 72 in the decider at the Oval.

On Friday, England were finally bowled out for 523 giving them a first-innings lead of 297 over their young hosts, three of whom are in the 17-man Australia squad for the opening Test in Brisbane next week.

Bureau Report

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