Australia v England, 3rd ODI, Sydney January 23, 2011

Hussey and Lee hand Australia 3-0 lead


Australia 6 for 215 (Hussey 68*, Haddin 54) beat England 214 (Trott 84*, Lee 3-27) by 4 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia put themselves within touching distance of taking the one-day series with a four-wicket victory at the SCG. David Hussey guided them home in an uncertain run chase with an unbeaten 68 alongside Victoria team-mate John Hastings after Brad Haddin's aggressive 54 set the early pace. England were kept interested by early wickets and a double for Paul Collingwood but there were always too few runs on the board for a depleted bowling attack.

It was an important innings for Hussey, who reached his fifty with a six, after he was named in the World Cup despite not playing ODI cricket for 18 months and he showed the finishing skills that have so often been evident for his domestic teams. He had important support from Steve Smith (26) after Australia wobbled on 5 for 114 then, after Smith departed to a horrid swipe, Hastings showed why he's off to the World Cup with a composed 18.

It was a match low on batting quality as England limped to 214 only thanks to Jonathan Trott's determined 84. Continuing their pattern of the series they handed wickets to Australia, this time including the run-out of Andrew Strauss, but the home side weren't blameless when it came to their dismissals. That at least kept the contest interesting until Hussey rattled down the target with consecutive boundaries off Ajmal Shahzad and Australia had four overs in hand.

When Collingwood, recalled to the side to replace the injured Kevin Pietersen who has a groin strain, claimed two wickets in the first two overs England suddenly sniffed a victory to haul themselves back into the series. Collingwood failed again with the bat when he missed a straight ball from Xavier Doherty, but trapped Cameron White lbw with his second delivery and then had Haddin, who was earlier dropped on 37, caught at long-on for 54 from a needless shot.

Haddin put Australia well ahead of the rate but kept losing partners. Shane Watson missed a drive at Chris Tremlett in the second over and Shaun Marsh, promoted to No.3, was brought back down to earth after his 110 at Hobart when he was lbw to Shahzad. Michael Clarke's form showed no signs of improving as he chipped Chris Woakes' sixth ball in one-day international cricket to midwicket, where Michael Yardy juggled the catch.

It should have been 4 for 68 when Haddin drove to mid-off but Tremlett couldn't take the chance low to his left and Haddin brought up his fifty with a fine cover-drive only to put pressure on his team-mates with poor shot selection. The difference at the moment, though, is Australia's belief is on the rise and England's is taking a hit, which is especially evident in the batting

With the exception of Trott, whose innings is also likely to spark debate, no one covered themselves in any glory against an Australia attack lacking two first-choice options in Nathan Hauritz and Shaun Tait. Injuries are a problem for both sides - Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of the series - but the hosts are covering their casualty list with much more aplomb. On this occasion, Doherty was impressive with 2 for 37 and Hastings showed his all-round value.

Brett Lee was the overall pick, though, and began England's problems in the first over when he removed Matt Prior lbw for his second consecutive duck since his recall. A wicket to the new ball is forgivable, but the mix-up between Strauss and Trott was shambolic as they were left standing at the same end. The only reason the third umpire was needed was to decide Strauss was the man to go.

Ian Bell got a leading edge back to Watson who took it with a dive in his follow through before Trott and Eoin Morgan began a recovery with a stand of 50. Morgan, though, had struggled to settle with two near-misses in his innings before pulling a long hop from Hussey to midwicket. He's just lost his knack of finding the gaps.

There was help on offer for the spinners but England made it look even harder. Collingwood opened his account with an edge past leg stump then missed a delivery which took off stump. Yardy continued to struggle when he chipped a limp return catch to the bowler and it left Trott needing to bat out the innings.

He and Luke Wright added 49 but it was slow progress as Trott dealt in singles for 40 consecutive scoring shots, then Wright gave it away with a loose drive at Hastings. Lee hustled through the lower order and Tremlett's run-out when he failed to ground his bat summed up how England, so outstanding during the Ashes, are starting to make costly basic errors. It's a long way back from here.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hutty86 on January 27, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    @5nuffies-Hahaha, what a resounding comeback, superbly played, nuff-nuff. Aus won the last ODI series they played in the subcontinent against 'the worlds most dominant team' and will be delighted if they get to play the Poms in a WC semi/final. SA have been one of the favourites the past 3 world cups and have failed to deliver every time. Get a grip.

  • Andrew on January 25, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    @ landl47 - I think it's you who hasn't been watching the games, Watto has had 1 good innings but has bowled very well EVERY time, Bollinger is getting his zip back & near his best - which is very good by the way. Doherty has bowled well & should be better for it if he is in place of Hauritz. D Hussey & Haddin batted very well in the 3rd match. The Oz fielding is improving rapidly & if this can continue, we will eb in with one red hot shot, England will need to turn things around over the next 4 games because losing is a habit that is hard to break. The only way the Poms will do better than Oz in the WC is thru KP playing at or near his best in every game. I think he should be bowling a bit more - to me he would be good for 3 or 4 overs in India per game. This would place his bowling at the same level of effect as Yardy!

  • Martin on January 25, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    @Hutty86; You talk about planet earth as if you've spent time there. BTW clutching is spelt; clutching. And I think I know who's doing it. PS - It's the blue one, third out from the sun.

  • John on January 25, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    @Marcio and Hutty86- if you think Australia are playing well (let alone being the greatest ODI side on earth) then you haven't been watching the games. Lee has bowled well. Watson has batted well in one match. Marsh has batted well in one match. And that's it. England have been right off the boil, just like Australia in 2007. They're a better team than that and a better team than Australia, especially in the subcontinent where their bowlers will be much more effective than Australia's. I'm making no secret of the fact that I don't think England will win the World Cup; they're short an allrounder so either the batting or the bowling is going to be light. I like Australia's chances even less. I believe Sri Lanka will be the team to beat. India's showing against SA was surprising, so they can't be discounted. SA have the best batting side, though their bowling hasn't much depth. England and Australia rank 4th and 5th, in that order, and who knows what Pakistan will do? Dream on, guys.

  • Hutty86 on January 25, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    @landl47.. the Poms winning the 07 one day series meant nothing because everyone knew Aus were far from their best and would turn it on when it counted-aka the most dominant WC of all time that year. No side wants losing form heading into this tournament and you are merely clytching at straws because you can't handle the fact Australia are still the best ODI side on earth.

  • Hector on January 24, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Want to see something scary. Doesn't give one a lot of faith that Australia will make the semis of the world cup: Watson, Haddin, Ponting, Clarke, M. Hussey, White, Smith, Johnston, Hauritz/Doherty, Lee, Tait. This is what super brain will select assuming everyone is fit. That is one fragile batting line up (2 coming back from injury & one badly out of form anyway) Two bowlers who generally spray the ball all over the place. Ahhhh! HELP!! I wouldn't pick this team...Would you?????

  • Dummy4 on January 24, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    got to agree, clarke needs a rest, even our former greatest batsmen have been dropped, hayden was dropped and put back into the 2007 World Cup team, what happened? he got man of the series.

  • Vikas on January 24, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Still not the time for Austalian Cricket to cheer up and undoubtly Hussey brothers are the backbone of Aus and will play key role in WC. But my questionis on Clarke..he should not be in the team. Person not performing at all n above that he is captain or vice Cap in WC..this is biggest drawback for Aus cricket..drop him get the inform batsman or a bowler or an all rounder in the team. Where is that professionalism which we use to see in Aus Cricket??

  • Marcio on January 24, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    Yeah, right landl47. This is the final tournament for before the world cup and nobody cares about the results. Keep telling yourself that. If there is a recipe for losing, it is to start losing regularly develop the habit of losing, then destroy team morale and confidence. This is exactly what I was saying about the Australian management when they started a lackadaisical attitude towards the one dayers and T20 vs India and SL just before the ashes. They were shifting players all over the place - e.g using Clarke as an opener in T20s, sending players to play state games when they should have been playing in the international short games. They lost 4/5 games. That was just plain dumb, and really screwed the psyche of the team. Meanwhile, at the present time AUS is improving and growing in confidence, esp in bowling and fielding (batting needs work - but someone is standing up every time).

  • Martin on January 24, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    @GlinnMgraw; Good idea! - Are you listening cricinfo?

  • No featured comments at the moment.