Cook hails 'fantastic knock' from Bell
England's Alistair Cook said he was delighted after beating West Indies
Alastair Cook has paid tribute to Ian Bell after his second one-day international hundred helped England begin their NatWest Series against West Indies with a 114-run win on the Duckworth/Lewis method at the Ageas Bowl.
The Warwickshire batsman excelled in the opener's role vacated by Kevin Pietersen's limited overs retirement, striking 12 fours and a six in his 126 to underpin England's 288 for six after they were put into field.
"It was a really good performance from the lads and Ian at the top of the order was fantastic, especially under cloudy conditions to start with," Cook told Sky Sports 1.
Bell has never managed to nail down a regular place in England's one-day side but Cook was full of praise for his fellow opener's efforts.
"Him and Trotty played really well and 288, I think we would have taken that at the toss. We've had to move on from KP but what a great performance from Ian at the top of the order. Fantastic knock and when you get close to 300 in any ground, it's hard to chase.
Bell hopes he can use the innings as a springboard to greater things in one-day internationals.
"I really enjoyed it and it was nice to go out there and play some shots at the top of the order," he said. "I thought if I could play like I had done in the Test series, fingers crossed I could make some runs.
"Hopefully I can have more days like this in the future. I believe I'm a better player now than I was the last time I was at the top of the order with England. I've enjoyed the success with the Test matches so hopefully I can take that confidence into one-day cricket now."
West Indies captain Darren Sammy was also quick to hail Bell's knock and acknowledged his side were thoroughly outplayed by England.
"We didn't get the runs," he said. "We had a good start when Smith and (Denesh) Ramdin gave us a solid platform but we kind of lost our way. It was pretty good wicket and Ian Bell played a very good innings but we backed ourselves to chase down the runs. But we didn't have enough partnerships and like Bell went on (for England), no one went on for us."