Delight at historic ton will numb the pain

Ian Bell suffers a painful blow. Picture: Robin Jones
Ian Bell suffers a painful blow. Picture: Robin Jones
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

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Sometimes you have to experience the pain to enjoy the pleasure.

Ian Bell was in the 90s and about to become the first man to score a Test century at the Rose Bowl.

Then an attempted pull shot took a bottom edge and clattered him in an area to make a grown man’s eyes water.

Those of us who have experienced something similar, know that pain all too well.

Yet, we all still laugh when it happens to someone else.

Even Sky Sports got in on the act using their hotspot technology on the big screen to show exactly where he was struck. Cue cheers and roars from the supporters.

They weren’t done there either as the super slow motion was used to show Bell’s gasp of pain in all its glory.

The Warwickshire batsman was understandably down on his haunches for a few seconds but quickly recovered and had soon forgotten the dull ache as he reached three figures.

And as most Test batsmen will testify, you have to wear a few if you want the big scores.

His 119 not out set up England’s attacking declaration of 377 for eight as Eoin Morgan (71) built on an exciting cameo from nightwatchman Jimmy Anderson (27) as we finally saw the best part of a full day’s play at the Rose Bowl.

Anderson showed he is far more than a blocker with some cracking shots, while Morgan looks more and more like the perfect replacement for Paul Collingwood.

But it was Bell who stole the show with his 169-ball knock which included 12 fours.

It took some time to prove his ability but Bell looks a genuine world-class Test player these days.

Sri Lanka were 112 for three and still 81 runs behind at the close as Anderson, Chris Tremlett and Stuart Broad gave England hope of victory.

Kumar Sangakkara (44 not out) is too good a player to go a whole series without a significant score and his wicket will be key to England’s chances.

But after so many showers, the weather will also have a pivotal role to play ahead of today’s final day.