County Championship: England's Ian Bell makes Warwickshire ton

Ian Bell
Ian Bell was making only his third County Championship appearance for the Bears at New Road
LV= County Championship Division One, New Road
Worcestershire 243 and 80 Rankin 3-23, Barker 3-26
Warwickshire 340: Bell 111, Clarke 67, Barker 50 no, Shantry 5-92
Warwickshire won by an innings and 17 runs
Warwickshire 22 pts, Worcestershire 4 pts
Match scorecard

England's Ian Bell found form ahead of next month's Ashes as his 50th first-class century inspired victory for Warwickshire against Worcestershire.

Bell's 111, his first ton since day one of the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua in April, aided by Rikki Clarke (67), helped the Bears to reach 340, a first-innings lead of 97.

But Worcestershire collapsed to 80 all out to lose by an innings and 17 runs.

They lost all 10 wickets inside the day's final session at New Road.

Keith Barker, who had earlier weighed in with a hard-hitting half-century, and Boyd Rankin claimed three wickets apiece, backed by two each for Chris Wright and spinner Jeetan Patel.

Replying to the hosts' 243, the Bears resumed on 101-4, with Bell on 46, only to lose Tim Ambrose to his first ball of the day.

Ian Bell's 50 first-class centuries
Bell has now hit 22 first-class hundreds for Warwickshire, matching his total of England Test centuries. He has also hit five on tour for England, as well as one for England A. He has also hit 11 one-day tons, four of them in ODIs.
Warwickshire have won the last eight Championship meetings with their neighbours, having also beaten them by 181 runs at Edgbaston last month. The Bears have not lost to Worcestershire since 2000, a run of 17 matches.
Worcestershire's second innings 80 was their lowest score since being shot out for 60, also against Warwickshire, on the Bears' last visit to New Road, when they clinched the County Championship, in September 2012.

But Warwickshire needed all of Bell's skill and application in partnership with Clarke to see them through a tricky second morning.

After completing a 71-ball half-century when dabbing a seventh boundary backward of square, Bell added only three more fours in the session.

Both batsmen were hit on the hand by lively left-armer Jack Shantry, who had already accounted for Ambrose, while Clarke gave two chances, the first behind the wicket, the other at second slip.

Bell's century, his 22nd for Warwickshire, came just before lunch with a clip for for three through midwicket, but he was gone within half an hour of the resumption, leg before to Shantry, having helped to put on 135 for the sixth wicket.

Shantry also got rid of Clarke to end up with 5-92, while Joe Leach took 4-80, but not before Barker had created what proved to be an unnerving lead by racing to an unbeaten 50 from 54 balls.

Then it was Worcestershire's turn again, but Wright quickly accounted for openers Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver in successive overs, Barker bowled Moeen Ali and the home side's lamentable collapse continued unchecked.

Warwickshire did not even have to claim the extra half hour to seal their two-day victory, that being achieved an over before the scheduled close.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"We were disappointed for it to peter out the way it did, although some credit to Warwickshire for the way they went about their business.

"Sometimes a bit of soul searching, a bit of cleansing of your soul to each other, is a good thing. It gives a chance for people to air their views and thoughts.

"Before we started this game, I told the players that I was very proud of the way they've fought and that, if they carried on doing that, we'd get some wins, but we did not show that same fight."

Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"Coming back to Warwickshire has been nice. Hopefully, I'm getting a bit of form, and we can go to the Ashes and hit the ground running.

"I want to play as much as I can for England for as long as I can. It's only three or four games ago that I scored a hundred for England but I know these things can be hyped before an Ashes series.

"Spending more time in the middle is always good. The team always comes first here. It's always easy to slot back in, that's something I've always found. Everyone makes you feel so welcome."

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