County Championship: Ian Bell shrugs off chances to score second century of the season

Close, day one: Warwickshire 263, Nottinghamshire 43-6

Trent Bridge

Not for the first time, Warwickshire were indebted to Ian Bell for coming up with a substantial innings in difficult conditions, although on this occasion they might concede also that they owe Nottinghamshire, too, for some fairly indifferent batting in reply on a pitch that was not straightforward but which did not explain a closing score of 43 for 6.

Phil Jaques, who twice could not quite get his hands under the ball at mid-wicket when Bell was still fine-tuning his timing early in the innings, might have put those moments behind him more quickly had he managed a few runs of his own when he had the chance to bat later. Alas, he did not.

In that respect, he was not alone among the Nottinghamshire top-order. After sliding to 17 for four as Chris Wright and Keith Barker bent their backs with the new ball on a pitch offering encouragement to the bowlers all day, they finished 220 runs behind with only four wickets in hand. Bell made 122, his second century of the new season and his fifth at Trent Bridge, the scene of the first of his three Ashes hundreds last summer. No England batsman currently walks to the crease with such expectation in tow.

In terms of fluency, this was not quite so impressive as his 189 not out against Sussex two weeks ago. He had the benefit, too, of a short boundary on the Bridgford Road side, where he scored 75 per cent of his runs, including both of his sixes and 16 of his 18 fours.

None the less, of the rest of the Warwickshire batsmen, only William Porterfield, with a fluent 56, made more than 27, which adds some context.

Nottinghamshire’s expectations are with Peter Siddle, who took eight wickets for Australia on this ground last summer but who has yet to hit his straps in his first Championship season. After 29 wicketless overs on debut at Lord’s last week, he managed one for 49 from 16 on Sunday.  Just as well that gangling Andy Carter, making up the numbers with Andre Adams still injured, chose the occasion to deliver the second five-wicket haul of his career and his first for Nottinghamshire.

County round-up

Bowler of the Day

Steven Finn’s four wickets at Lord’s will attract more attention but Angus Fraser, the Middlesex director of cricket and now an England selector, will have good news too of James Harris, the England Lions quick whose signing was regarded as a coup when he left Glamorgan the winter before last. A series of niggling injuries turned his first season at Lord’s into an anticlimax but now fit again he is expected to regain lost ground and his three wickets against Yorkshire on Sunday included that of the in-form Gary Ballance.

England watch

Joe Root’s return to competitive senior cricket, seven weeks after suffering a broken thumb with England in the Caribbean, lasted just five deliveries. Batting at No 4 for Yorkshire at Lord’s, having been named as captain in place of Andrew Gale, Root was trapped leg before by his England team-mate Finn, whose rehabilitation has brought him 18 wickets in three matches so far.

Gale is missing after following through on his threat to leave himself out to accommodate Root. Of Yorkshire’s top order, only he had failed to make runs in the opening two games.  This time, Adam Lyth, Kane Williamson and Ballance made starts they could not build on and all were outscored by Liam Plunkett, a fast bowler with two first-class hundreds to his name, who made his third half-century for Yorkshire.

Extras

They had started their season with a win, but the author of the match report on the Wirral Cricket Club website last week still felt it wise to finish with the gentle reminder: “We will have tougher tests to come.” Wise words, although possibly not so prescient as to foresee what happened when Wirral went to Haslington for the second of their Cheshire League Division Three fixtures for 2014 on Saturday.

Replying to Haslington’s 108, Wirral were bowled out for three. Only their No 11 Connor Hobson, who finished one not out, troubled the scorers. The other two runs came in leg byes.  The bowling figures: Ben Istead 5-4-1-6, Tom Gledhill 4.2-4-0-4. It is not a world record, however. In 1913, the Somerset club Langport were dismissed for nought against Glastonbury.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine