Man of the day
Ian Bell is the obvious candidate after turning the fourth Test in England's favour
Last Updated: 11/08/13 7:48pm
Bell came to the crease with England reeling on 49-3 in their second innings - just 17 runs in front of their opponents' first-innings total - and Australia seamer Ryan Harris firing on all cylinders.
The tourists sniffed a collapse which would have left a straightforward run chase, but Bell and Kevin Pietersen turned things around with a solid stand of 106.
And once his fourth-wicket partner fell for 44, Bell took on the reins himself as he went on to score a game-changing hundred.
At Old Trafford the 31-year-old missed out on becoming the first Englishman to score centuries in four straight Ashes Tests, but his efforts in Durham mean he can content himself with four tons in five matches.
Even though his side's backs were against the wall, Bell did not shy away from playing his usual fluid strokes, with his brilliant technique and timing on display once again.
His most eye-catching shot throughout the series has been a late cut down to the third-man boundary and he utilised it to good effect again on Sunday with many of his ten fours coming in that area.
The shot so nearly betrayed him when, on 97, he misjudged it and sent the ball flying over the head of Michael Clarke at first slip. He then brought up his century with the next ball, an uppish chip into the midwicket area.
Those were his shakiest moments all day, though, as he expanded his repertoire as the innings progressed and a number of drives through the off side also made it to the ropes.
Early in his England career Bell gained a reputation as a player who was a weak link in high-pressure situations, but that stigma has surely been put to rest over the course of this series.