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Ian Bell

Ian Bell's top knocks

Ian Bell retires

England batsman Ian Bell decided to close the curtains on his professional cricketing career at the end of the ongoing domestic season.

Known for his elegance and flair at the crease, Bell, who has been a part of five Ashes-winning campaigns, played several memorable knocks for England across formats. A member of the national side for more than a decade, Bell played 118 Tests, 161 ODIs and 8 T20Is in his career. Here we run through some of his best knocks in international cricket.

235 vs India - Test match, 2011, The Oval

England thrashed India by an innings and eight runs in the final Test of a four-match series between the sides in 2011 in England. Pivotal to the massive win at The Oval was a spectacular first-innings double century from Ian Bell, who forged a 350-run partnership with Kevin Pietersen. Bell's 235 came at a good pace and allowed England to make 591 before declaring. The total proved to be just enough to bowl India out twice without having to bat again.

199 vs South Africa - Test match, 2008, Lord's

Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen had several memorable partnerships between them, but the 286-run stand at Lord's against a potent South African attack should come near the top of the list. Bell, at his fluent best, was racing towards a double century but on 199 stepped out to drive spinner Paul Harris straight back into his hands. The match ended in a draw and Bell's 199 remained his highest Test score until 2011.  

126 vs West Indies - ODI, 2012, Southampton

Ian Bell's ODI exploits are less renowned, but this ravishing knock against Windies at Southampton in 2012 as an opener came after a spell in which he was struggling to convert his starts into big scores. With Alastair Cook dismissed in the first over, Bell took command of England's innings and went on to make 126 in just 117 balls, blasting 12 fours and a six in the process. His knock drove England to 288 batting first and they won comfortably in the end. 

60* vs New Zealand - T20I, 2008, Manchester

Not quite a T20I specialist, Ian Bell managed to make one half-century in the format, a terrific 60* off 46 balls in a run-chase of 124 at Manchester. In the one-off T20I, England were cruising in the chase thanks to Bell and Kevin Pietersen (42* off 41 balls) was left playing second-fiddle. Bell hit nine fours and a six in a display of aggressive, yet risk-free batting. He remained unbeaten as England overhauled the target with nine wickets to spare.

Ian Bell
Ian Bell

162* vs Bangladesh - Test, 2005, Chester-le-Street

Bell had a spectacular start to his Test career as he made half-centuries in his first two Test innings. In his third, against Bangladesh at Chester-le-Street, Bell was at his free-flowing best and raced to 162* in just 168 balls to complement Marcus Trescothick's 148-ball 151. Bell unfurled 25 fours and a six in a stroke-filled knock and firmly put himself into the England Test side with this eye-catching hundred. England made 447/3d in the innings and wrapped up the Test by an innings and 27 runs. 

113 vs Australia - Test, 2013, Chester-le-Street

The 2013 Ashes was a superb series for Ian Bell as he topped the run-charts with 562 runs at an average of 62.44. Bell made three centuries in the series, but perhaps the best of the lot came at Chester-le-Street in the fourth Test. 

Trailing by 32 runs after the first innings, England fell to 49/3 in the second. But powered by Bell's commanding 113, they made 330 and went on to win the Test by 74 runs. Nobody else made a half-century in the England innings and Bell's ton proved pivotal in England's excellent win.

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