Australia to chase 304 after Bell smashes ton

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    Hobart, Jan 23 (IANS) Opener Ian Bells fourth One-Day International (ODI) century Friday propelled England to 303 for eight in their tri-series clash against Australia at the Blundstone Arena here, as the home side finished with a team hat-trick.

    Bell was in excellent touch throughout his innings of 141 from 125 balls, registering his highest ODI score while becoming his country’s most prolific run-scorer in the 50-over format.

    Joe Root (69 off 70) and Moeen Ali (46 off 48) supported Bell’s masterclass on a flat wicket and a lightning outfield.

    Gurinder Sandhu was the pick of the Australian bowlers, taking 49 for two from 10 overs, including England captain Eoin Morgan for a duck.

    Mitchell Starc claimed 60 for one, as the Australian bowlers restricted the visitors to 59 from the final 10 overs when a score of 330-plus looked likely.

    Australia finished with a team hat-trick thanks to Starc’s wicket of Ravi Bopara (7) and a pair of run outs to Haddin as Jos Buttler (25) and Chris Woakes (0) attempted to steal a bye off the final deliveries of the innings.

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