Nottingham: For two days, the swinging and seaming ball dominated the bat at Trent Bridge, and eleven wickets fell. On the third, the trend was reversed, emphatically. Faced with adversity - England trailed by 43 at the start and lost Andrew Strauss 10 in arrears - Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen played memorable counterattacking innings, batting with the confidence of champions during a 162-run partnership plundered at 4.47 runs per over. Eoin Morgan and Matt Prior then converted England's lead from healthy to practically unassailable with aggressive half-centuries, capitalising on wayward bowling, ragged fielding and listless captaincy. At stumps England led by 374 with four wickets in hand, having scored 417 runs in the day, and India's chances of winning or saving the match were slim. England's cricket was simply superior to India's, before and after the flashpoint that caused chaos minutes before tea.
England's lead was 187 with seven wickets in hand, when Bell, batting on 137 with the mastery of Yoda, made a rookie's assumption that ended his innings, temporarily. Eoin Morgan flicked the last ball before tea towards the square-leg boundary, where Praveen Kumar dived to try to save it. And he did, though he didn't think he had. Praveen then took his time to get up and throw the ball towards the wicketkeeper's end, by which time Bell had gone to the non-striker's end, jogging at first and then walking, either because he thought it was a boundary or that tea had been called. Abhinav Mukund collected the throw and took off the bails, after which the umpire called over and handed Ishant Sharma his sweater. India had appealed for a run-out, though, and after a long delay, while the decision was referred to the third umpire, Bell was given out.
The Indian team was greeted with boos from the Nottingham crowd as play resumed after tea. But suddenly Bell walked out to bat and there were cheers. During the tea interval England's captain and coach, Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower, had asked Dhoni if he was willing to withdraw the appeal. India had been within their rights to appeal for the run-out, and Bell was out according to the laws, but Dhoni agreed to let Bell resume his innings.