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Bell comes of age as Test batsman

Although Bell's abundant talent has never been questioned his reaction to pressure has after a series of soft dismissals when seemingly well set.

His response at Lord's was to help Kevin Pietersen (152) revive England from a shaky 117 for three on Thursday with a fourth-wicket partnership of 286, a record against South Africa.

After Paul Collingwood (7) and Tim Ambrose (4) had fallen cheaply either side of lunch, Bell and Broad added 152 for the seventh wicket, another England record against the South Africans.

They were assisted by some more inaccurate bowling from the South African pace attack, sloppy ground fielding and stolidly unimaginative captaincy from the world's most experienced leader Graeme Smith who rotated his bowlers mechanically and rarely altered the field.

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