In order to quantitatively investigate the mechanical and rheological properties of solid flow in a shear cell under conditions relevant to those in an annular cell, we performed a series of discrete particle simulations of slightly polydispersed spheres from quasi-static to intermediate flow regimes. It is shown that the average values of stress tensor components are uniformly distributed in the cell space away from the stationary walls; however, some degree of inhomogeneity in their spatial distributions does exist. A linear relationship between the (internal/external) shear and normal stresses prevails in the shear cell and the internal and external friction coefficients can compare well with each other. It is confirmed that annular shear cells are reasonably effective as a method of measuring particle flow properties. The so-called I-rheology proposed by Jop et al. [Nature (London)441, 727 (2006)] is rigorously tested in this cell system. The results unambiguously display that the I-rheology can effectively describe the intermediate flow regime with a high correlation coefficient. However, significant deviations take place when it is applied to the quasi-static regime, which corresponds to very small values of inertial number.