Ian Bell has issued an ominous Ashes warning to Australia’s bowlers by continuing his run feast from the series in England.
Fresh from centuries in each of England’s three victories during the winter, the stylish Bell warmed up for his sixth Ashes series with an effortless unbeaten half-century at the WACA Ground.
The WACA Chairman’s XI bowlers were not as wayward as their England opponents but were unable to produce any greater impact on the increasingly benign surface as the visitors eased to 2-270 in reply to the home team’s 5-451.
Bell (77 not out) put on 133 with England No.3 Jonathan Trott (64 not out) who was not as fluent as his Warwickshire partner but invested considerable concentration into a valuable early tour sighter.
Bell lifted spinners Michael Beer and Ashton Turner over the WACA sightscreens and finessed a series of exquisite drives on either side of the wicket to eye off the 45th century of his career.
Opener Michael Carberry is not likely to be in the frame for the first Test at the Gabba later this month but relished the chance to underline his credentials should a top order vacancy occur.
The left-hander produced a polished 78 from 100 deliveries to thrive against a WA attack that rarely beat the bat beyond the opening burst with the new ball.
It took a rare false stroke against Turner in his first over to bring about Carberry’s demise.
Turner made his first-class debut for an Australian XI at Hove several months ago and claimed his maiden wicket with his sixth delivery on home soil when Carberry carved a short ball to point.
Turner had earlier guaranteed that the WA XI would create a slice of history when he became the sixth consecutive batsman to score a half-century.
The Fremantle youngster finished on 62 not out when Beer declared 30 minutes before lunch.
It was the first time in 183 years of first-class cricket in Australia that the top six batsmen each reached 50.
Openers Luke Towers (77) and Marcus Harris (69) put on a century stand on the first day, Queenslander Chris Lynn smashed a century then Mitch Marsh (58) and Jim Allenby (53) put the team on track for the unique mark.
Allenby was pressed into action with the ball when paceman Burt Cockley spent most of the day off the field after breaking down with pain in his left knee during his third over.
Cockley had to overcome a knee reconstruction and severe golden staph infection in the joint that nearly forced the amputation of his leg before returning to first-class ranks last season.
Scans cleared him of any serious damage and he returned to the field after tea.
Bowling probing swingers that cost little more than two runs an over, Allenby trapped Joe Root in front for the first success of the innings after the England openers had put on an even 100.
Towers twice deputised for wicket-keeper Tom Triffitt who required six stitches in a deep cut under his right eye when he was struck by a leaping delivery from Beer.