Glamorgan 4 for 1 trail Warwickshire 186 (Bell 50, Douthwaite 3-42) by 182 runs
Ian Bell top-scored for Warwickshire in his penultimate first-class innings as the visitors battled for the ascendancy against bottom-placed Glamorgan, looking for their first Bob Willis Trophy win in the season's final round.
Any stranger watching Bell playing at Sophia Gardens, after a long and distinguished career at county and international level, would have wondered why Ian Bell to retire at end of 2020 season he has decided to retire. He says the desire is there to carry on but feels that "my body can't keep up to the demands of the game and I know that the time is right".
He will be much missed, this after he had played another accomplished innings to help his team recover from 23 for 3. Apart from the youthful Dan Mousley, who helped Bell add 70 for the fourth wicket, Bell was a class apart from the other batsmen.
This was his first fifty of the season, and first for Warwickshire in any format since 2018, having missed all of last summer with a knee injury.
The Glamorgan bowlers of course know all about him, after Bell, two years ago, struck 425 runs against them in three innings: 106 and 115 (both not out) in the same game at Edgbaston, then later in the season the small matter of 204 at Colwyn Bay.
His half-century, made off 116 balls which included nine fours, included some of his trademark cover drives for four, but it was a battling rather than a dashing innings that held Warwickshire together.
The Glamorgan seamers thrived on the conditions - a green pitch with plenty of movement - and the Warwickshire top-order batsmen were in trouble from the fourth ball of the innings when Timm van der Gugten dismissed Will Rhodes.
Warwickshire resumed after lunch on 89 for 3, but Lukas Carey, playing his first game of the truncated season removed Mousley for 31, while Michael Burgess, having struck Carey for two successive boundaries, went for the third in succession but edged a catch to second slip.
Thirteen overs were lost to rain during the afternoon session, but with a favourable weather forecast these overs will be made up on the next two days.
Glamorgan's batsmen had an awkward eight overs to face at the end of the day, with survival their main objective. The openers Nick Selman and Joe Cooke, playing his second Championship game, stayed until the fifth over, before Selman, pushed at a ball from Liam Norwell, and edged to third slip where Bell - who else? - held on to a low catch.