New Delhi: Ian Bell justified his elevation to the top of England's batting order on Saturday when he overcame a possible fractured jaw to score his second one-day century as the hosts amassed 288 for seven after being asked to bat first in game one of the three-match series against West Indies in Southampton.

Bell struck 126 under cloudy skies at the Rose Bowl, equalling his career-best score, as England capitalised after West Indies captain Darren Sammy had won the toss and elected to field.

Bell was cleared to play in the match moments before the start. He had required 10 stitches to his face on Friday after being struck on the chin while batting in the nets.

Captain Alastair Cook was caught behind in the opening over with England yet to get on the board but Bell and Jonathan Trott (42) combined for a 108-run second-wicket partnership to set the hosts on their way.

As well as Trott, wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter made a solid contribution with an unbeaten 38 but the departure of Bell saw England lose some of its momentum before some late hitting from Stuart Broad (22) ensured England a more than competitive total.

All-rounder Marlon Samuels was the pick of the tourists' bowlers, taking two wickets for 43 runs from nine overs while Denesh Ramdin claimed four catches behind the stumps.

Bell's hundred was timely for him and England who are seeking a new opening partner for Cook following the limited-overs retirement of Kevin Pietersen.

West Indies suffered a blow before the start of play when Chris Gayle's return to international cricket was put on hold after he was ruled out with a foot injury.

Gayle, 32, had been expected to play his first match for West Indies since last year's World Cup after being unavailable due to a falling out with the West Indies cricket board.

"Hopefully he will take part in the remainder of the series," Sammy said.


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