England still have a chance to win this Test, says Ian Bell

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“If the two that are in can carry on for a while and get us to lunch then you never know”

England batsman Ian Bell has announced that he believes the national team still have a chance of winning the third Test against Australia in Perth, despite needing 253 runs to win on the fifth and final day with only five wickets in hand.

Bell noted that if all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is currently unbeaten on 72, and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who is undefeated on seven, manage to keep batting till the lunch break tomorrow, then anything is possible.

“If the two that are in can carry on for a while and get us to lunch then you never know,” Bell said. “There are a few cracks on the wicket but apart from that it is a pretty good surface.”

Speaking about Stokes’ maiden Test half-century, Bell said: “Since we have been here in the nets he has looked a quality batsman. I know he has been bowling at a good pace as well so he could be a real find for us going forward.

“He has a great attitude and everything about him looks he is going to have a great career with England, so a very exciting cricketer for us.”

Bell is also confident that it will only be a matter of time before Prior finds his form again.

“I think he is ready for a bit of a fight to be honest,” Bell said. “I think he is ready to get out there and have a bit of a scrap but that’s Matt. He has done that for such a long time for us.

“We know he hasn’t had a great eight, nine months but he is a quality player and if he has a bit of luck and Stokesy stays with him he will give it a good go.”

However, Bell admitted that England were completely outplayed in the morning session on the fourth day.

“It was a disappointing morning and I don’t think we set the standards we normally do in the field,” he said. “I can hold my hand up for that one.

“Watson came out and played exceptionally well. We know he is a powerful player and with the straight boundaries here he only has to get half of it and it is six.

“I think we let ourselves down a little bit in the field but we have come back and shown some fight with the bat.”

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