Bell leads MCC to four-wicket win in Abu Dhabi

Sport360 staff 01:37 24/03/2016
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Ian Bell made 66 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

MCC captain Ian Bell helped his team to a four-wicket win over Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi as the county champions suffered a rare first-class defeat.

Bell (66), batting at number three for the select team in the season’s curtain-raiser at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, confirmed he is back in form by following up his first-innings 44.

There was also a half-century for Essex’s  Tom Westley (58), before Ben Foakes and Rikki Clarke made sure in pursuit of 256 by mid-evening on the final day of four.

For five-time Ashes winner Bell, it was an especially heartening outcome before the start of a new season in which he will hope to press for an England return after being dropped for the Test tour of South Africa.

Yorkshire added 40 for their last three wickets on Wednesday morning, courtesy largely of Jack Brooks’ and Karl Carver’s resilience.

The last-wicket pair put on 37 together in a total of 279 all out.

Samit Patel finished with three for 52 when Brooks was last out stumped – and by lunch, MCC had 34 on the board for the loss of Nick Browne.

The Essex opener fell in the first over of spin from Adam Lyth, poking a catch to cover – but Yorkshire had a significant setback too, when Tim Bresnan left the field with an apparent calf problem after bowling just two overs with the new ball.

Bell was initially watchful, but took two successive fours off Brooks in the first over of the afternoon.

He soon lost Rory Burns, run out by a throw from Gary Ballance at square-leg, but Westley took the attack to Yorkshire’s spinners in a stand of 79 until he paid for his adventure when he was stumped off slow left-armer Carver.

Patel came and went too, for a breezy run-a-ball 22, chipping a catch to midwicket off Jack Leaning.

But Bell stayed put to reach his first 50 of the year from 113 balls just after tea, with his eighth four off Will Rhodes.

The captain had done much of the hard work, only to sky Carver to mid-off.

Clarke chipped in with five fours and a six – and although he fell to a second stumping of the innings for Andrew Hodd, this time off Leaning, Foakes finished the job with two more boundaries in the space of four balls.

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