The 16-year-old Bell was the lone batting success for the tourists as most of his team-mates failed to make the most of an excellent pitch. England only need to draw the match to win the series 1-0, and they were delighted when Michael Gough won the toss and elected to bat. But they lost early wickets and it was only Bell that kept the Kiwis at bay.
Gough misread a slower ball from Mark Gillespie and was bowled for 10. His opening partner Ian Flanagan went for 17, but Bell was in top form. Unbeaten on 35 at lunch, he came out blazing after the interval, laying into Gillespie, who went for 24 from two overs.
Bell brought up his hundred with an on-drive off Ben Jansen but was out for 115 when he charged the spinner Bruce Martin and was stumped. He was sixth out with the score 218 and Marc Symington and Joe Tucker kept things going.
First day of four; England Under-19 won toss
ENGLAND UNDER-19 - First Innings
*M A Gough b Gillespie 10
I N Flanagan c Martin b Franklin 17
I R Bell st McGlashan b Martin 115
M A Carberry c McGlashan b Shaw 4
R K J Dawson c McGlashan b Franklin 19
M P Bulbeck b Martin 13
M J Symington not out 39
J P Tucker b Jansen 26
R J Logan not out 2
Extras (lb6, w7, nb14) 27
Total (for 7, 106 overs) 272
Fall: 1-34, 2-36, 3-58, 4-131, 5-165, 6-218, 7-260.
To bat: G Bridge, M A Wallace.
Bowling: Shaw 15-5-35-1; Gillespie 18-5-73-1; Franklin 17-3-35-2; McNamee 4-1-11-0; Martin 28-10-46-2; Jansen 24-6-66-1.
NEW ZEALAND UNDER-19: *J Englefield, M Gillespie, J Franklin B Jansen, P McGlashan, T McIntosh, J McNamee, B Martin M Papps, B Patton, H Shaw.
Umpires: R Murdoch and G Stewart.