Chappell-Hadlee Trophy December 9, 2004

Hayden could miss decider

Cricinfo staff

Hayden could miss the decider on home turf © Getty Images

Matthew Hayden, whose partnership with Adam Gilchrist at the top of the order provided much of the impetus for Australia's thrilling 17-run victory over New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground, could miss the third and decisive game of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy with a hamstring strain.

Hayden has scored heavily in most of his appearances in front of home crowds at the Gabba, and Australia's medical staff are treating his hamstring in a bid to get him fit for the encounter. Hayden himself was desperate to play, after some lackadaisical batting from the top order in recent matches.

According to ABC News Online, he said, "We've all got off to starts, well the top three in both games have got off to decent starts, and haven't gone on and got a big score, which you need to. That's an area, losing wickets in bundles is a problem area."

Torrential rains lashing the Brisbane area have also created logistical problems. Kevin Mitchell, the curator, has been forced to abandon his first-choice strip, and use the pitch that was prepared for an ING Cup game between Queensland and Tasmania. That will in turn affect spectators, with sightscreens and TV camera vantage points also having to be moved.

The series is beautifully poised at 1-1, with New Zealand having eked out a thrilling four-wicket win in the first match at Melbourne. Victory in Brisbane would edge them closer to Australia at the top of the ICC table.