Nottinghamshire 388 and 71 for 1 (Wood 39*) drew with Warwickshire 219 and 470 for 7 dec (Bell 126, Trott 121)
Ian Bell's demeanour throughout his second innings here had been that of a man determined not to waste an opportunity and if he was hoping to make the right impression on England's selectors he could not have chosen a better moment.
While Bell, unbeaten on 92 overnight after revealing enormous depths of patience late on Thursday evening, advanced quickly to his 26th hundred on the final morning, the selection panel deliberating on the line-up for The Oval had convened a matter of yards away, in a room in the Radcliffe Road stand overlooking the field.
Bell steered the first ball of the day past the slip cordon for four as Ryan Sidebottom opened proceedings at the pavilion end and moved into three figures 10 minutes later, driving Charlie Shreck roughly in the direction of the meeting room at long off.
With a Test place to be clinched, having a selector present is a boon to any batsman in form but in this instance Bell had not merely one but all four -- Geoff Miller, James Whitaker, Ashley Giles and Andy Flower -- in attendance, as well as the England captain, Andrew Strauss. It may have been a unique occurrence.
The panel dispersed after a marathon five-hour session, although there had been more to ponder upon than with whom to take on the Australians in the decisive fifth Test. Names were also to be decided for the one-day series and the Twenty20 matches.
Bell's innings lasted one hour longer, a six-hour epic encompassing 262 deliveries that ended on 126 when Andre Adams, a somewhat underrated seamer in Nottinghamshire's high quality bowling armoury, hurried one through to trap him leg-before.
Bell, who will learn within the coming hours whether his double failure at Headingley has been forgiven, looked less that thrilled, but it was probably more to do with being late on the shot than the authenticity of umpire Richard Kettleborough's verdict. In any case, after standing at the other end as teammate Jonathan Trott, who will also be waiting for a phone call, beat him to a hundred on Thursday, it had been a good response.
With nightwatchman Naqaash Tahir already gone, caught behind after an hour-long effort, Warwickshire were 355 for 5 with Bell's departure. And when Jim Troughton, struggling for form, became a fourth victim for Adams - who was finding movement off the pitch - they were in danger of subsiding, at 370-6 and only 201 in front, to let Nottinghamshire back in with a scent of victory.
But a 95-run partnership between Rikki Clarke and Tim Ambrose saw off that threat, Ambrose doing a sterling job in the defensive role as Clarke, ultimately, allowed himself licence to swing the bat -- profitably, too, with a couple of big pulled sixes off Samit Patel's spin and another fired over midwicket off Shreck.
Sidebottom, meanwhile, was cutting an increasingly frustrated figure, repeatedly returning to bowl excellent spells but having no luck at all, beautifully though he bowled at times.
Shreck ultimately uprooted Clarke's middle stump, prompting a tea-time declaration at 470-7 that left Nottinghamshire, in theory, to score 302 to win from a minimum 42 overs.
It was never a target they seriously chased, particularly after on-loan opener Scott Newman had been trapped on the crease by Boyd Rankin without scoring. Handshakes were exchanged with Nottinghamshire finishing on 71 for 1 after 25 overs.
Notts vs Warwickshire
County Championship Division One
England Domestic Season