Ian Bell targeting first T20 century for Birmingham Bears

Ian Bell was part of the victorious Birmingham Bears side which beat Surrey and Lancashire on Finals Day at Edgbaston in 2014
Bell was in the victorious Bears side that beat Surrey and Lancashire on Finals Day at Edgbaston in 2014

Ian Bell has very few things missing from his cricketing CV.

Of the 62 centuries he has compiled so far in first-class and one-day cricket, it would probably mean most to the Warwickshire captain if just one of them had been in a Test at Edgbaston.

But, in 55 matches, he is still to make one in Twenty20 cricket too.

"To get a T20 ton is one of my ambitions, absolutely," said Bell, ahead of Friday's Birmingham Bears T20 Blast home game against Durham.

In eight attempts for England, prior to his retirement from all international limited-over cricket last summer, his best knock was an unbeaten 60 against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 2008.

But, of his six T20 half-centuries for the Bears, the most recent was on Friday in the home defeat by Worcestershire - and the two best have both been against Durham.

Bears captain likes batting against Durham

Warwickshire lost their most recent meeting with Durham - the north-east side's four-wicket win against the Bears at Edgbaston last week. But Bell enjoys T20 meetings with them.

In his only two T20 meetings with Durham, he made 85 in 47 balls in a Warwickshire home defeat at Edgbaston in 2010, bettering that with a match-winning 90 from 65 balls in last summer's Bears' win at Chester-le-Street.

It was an innings that stood for all of 27 days as the best by a Bears batsman until Brendon McCullum smashed 158 not out off 64 balls against Derbyshire at Edgbaston last July, the highest-ever domestic T20 score.

"I enjoyed that 90 up at the Riverside," said Bell. "It was nice to have the top T20 score for the Bears, at least for a little while before Brendon came in and showed why he is the world's best T20 player.

"That's still the only T20 hundred for us and it would be great for one of the homegrown guys, who have come through the system here at Edgbaston, to get a ton. I'm sure it's only a matter of time."

Bell on form in T20 derby defeat

After being outshone by 92 from fellow opener Sam Hain in the Bears' opening six-wicket T20 Blast win over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, Bell hit an attractive 66 against Worcestershire at Edgbaston last Friday.

But, despite hitting five four and two sixes in his 57-ball knock, Bell's Bears were beaten in the final over by their local rivals.

And, with Chris Woakes back from England Test duty, they will now look to make amends against a Durham side who rallied from their opening night Tom Kohler-Cadmore-inspired battering at Worcester to beat T20 champions Lancashire a week later.

"Of course it was disappointing to lose," said 34-year-old Bell, who remains hopeful of a Test recall before the end of the summer.

"But one game doesn't change a lot. There were some good points and the experience the young guys picked up will be invaluable.

"Worcestershire are a good side. They bat very deep and are one of the strongest sides in the group. Fair play to them for the way we played against us but we will come back hard against Durham."

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