Bell shines for England

SYDNEY - Led by Ian Bell's fluent 71, England ended day one of the final Ashes Test in Sydney on an encouraging 234-4.

SYDNEY - Led by Ian Bell's fluent 71, England ended day one of the final Ashes Test in Sydney on an encouraging 234-4.

Bell put on 108 with Kevin Pietersen (41) before Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood added an unbeaten 67.

They came together when veteran seamer Glenn McGrath, playing his final Test match, took two wickets in the space of five balls to put the Aussies on top.

The other decorated Australian bowler making his last Test appearance, Shane Warne, bowled 19 wicketless overs.

He did not extract huge spin and was not at his most consistent either, but his threat will increase during the course of the match.

Spectators arriving at the ground early in the morning were hit by a monsoon-like deluge and it was soon clear that despite the improving weather play would not start on time.

England, who replaced Matthew Hoggard (side strain) with James Anderson, batted first after Flintoff called correctly.

And Andrew Strauss immediately looked anxious to score quickly, but had difficulty locating the middle of his bat.

His first boundary was an edge off Brett Lee that flew only marginally wide of the slip cordon and his second also came off the edge of the bat.

He was dropped on 21 by Justin Langer fielding at third slip to McGrath. - BBC

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