Bell and Cook shine for England

Andover Advertiser: Ian Bell top-scored for England with 50 Ian Bell top-scored for England with 50

A half-century from Ian Bell, and opening stand of 83 with his captain Alastair Cook, allowed England to set Scotland a Duckworth-Lewis target of 173 in rainy Aberdeen.

Bell (50) and Cook (44) laid the platform for a total of 167 for six, commuted marginally upwards in a match which began several hours late as 23 overs per side but was reduced to 20 after England were interrupted by another heavy shower mid-innings.

Eoin Morgan weighed in with a handy contribution too, as did Joe Root, to put the onus on the hosts to bat well - if conditions remained feasible for a run chase.

Bell's third half-century in five one-day international innings came in just 33 balls, and contained four fours and two sixes.

His first maximum, up the wicket to Majid Haq's off-spin and struck over long off, brought up England's 50 in the ninth over.

But as soon as he reached his own 50, he was gone next ball - down on one knee to try to manufacture a sweep off left-arm seamer Rob Taylor and bowled round his legs.

Morgan had time to join Cook and time Taylor for a sweet boundary past mid off to get off the mark second ball, before - having already played through 15 minutes of heavy rain - the players had to leave the field, with the total 87 for one in the 12th over.

Cook and Morgan returned, the former moving to within one hit of his 50 but very well-caught trying to do so - by a diving Calum MacLeod at long off to give Taylor a second wicket.

Taylor then pulled off another outstanding catch to snuff out the threat from Jos Buttler, at deep midwicket, off Josh Davey (three for 28).

But with Morgan also gone caught-behind, Root countered with a reverse-dab for four off Iain Wardlaw first ball and ended with 17 off just six until he holed out in the deep too, as Scotland kept holding their catches.

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