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Ashes: England go 2-1 up with eight wicket win 

Birmingham, July 31 (IANS) Ian Bell struck an unbeaten half century as England capped their overwhelming domination with a eight-wicket win over Australia in the third Test at Edgbaston here on Friday to go up 2-1 in the Ashes series.

After Australia’s tail enders stretched their second innings to 265, setting England a 121-run target, Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root (38 not out) stitched together a 73 run unfinished partnership for the third wicket to carry the hosts to victory on day three of the match.

However, the England second innings began with a bit of a hiccup as skipper Alastari Cook (7) and fellow opener opener Adam Lyth (12) got out cheaply.

But Bell made full use of a life at 20 when Australian captain Michael Clarke dropped him at slip and anchored the chase with the winning runs coming in the form of a boundary hit by Root in the 31st over of the post-lunch session.

In the morning, resuming at 168 for 7, both overnight not out batsmen Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc completed their half-centuries. Nevill scored 59 and Starc 58 as the duo added 64 for the eighth wicket before man of the match Steven Finn claimed his sixth victim of the innings and eighth of the match by getting rid of the wicketkeeper batsman.

The Australian innings finally ended in the 25th over the day.

Amid the euphoria of a great victory, the bad news for England is that their fast bowler James Anderson will miss the fourth Test at Trent Bridge owing to a side strain.

The 33-year-old was forced to go off the field on day two of the third Test after bowling the third delivery of his eight over.

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