Australia v England, 3rd ODI, Sydney January 19, 2014

Cook's brief sigh of relief

Vithushan Ehantharajah at the SCG
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the third ODI in Sydney

Six of the Day
Alastair Cook's brisk knock at the beginning of the match suggested England might be on for another big first innings total. Alas, it wasn't to be, but Cook looked at one with the pitch almost immediately, cracking five fours in the first eight overs. But the most noteworthy shot was a thumping pull in front of square that came right out of the screws and cleared the boundary for six. Cook seemed to know Nathan Coulter-Nile was going to dig one in - transferring his weight almost instantly onto the back foot, so often the base for some of his best work. It was Cook's first maximum in 17 innings on this frightful tour, and one that would have allowed him a fleeting moment of satisfaction.

Flash Point of the Day
Should Eoin Morgan have taken the word of Dan Christian after David Warner had trusted Jos Buttler when he nicked behind in MCG? What followed the incident at Melbourne suggested Morgan was right to stay put as the umpires checked that Christian had indeed ended his dive with an impressive one-handed cupping of the ball before it hit the ground. Michael Clarke took exception to Morgan standing his ground and questioned the temerity of England's No. 5. Morgan reacted, fronting up to Clarke, as Jos Buttler tried to play mediator and the visitor's 12th and 13th men offered fluorescent back-up. It didn't take long for the catch to be confirmed, and Morgan was soon on his way, this time, with the best wishes of the entire Australian team.

Sneak of the Day
Like an experienced fly-tipper in the night, Xavier Doherty sauntered into the attack in the eighth over and left satisfied after the 27th, having disposed of his 10 allotted overs with little consternation. Two bits of outstanding fielding - a smart low catch from Michael Clarke around the corner to remove Stokes and the run out of Ian Bell - meant Doherty was able to bowl at Ben Stokes, in at No. 3, and Gary Ballance, who were perhaps too tentative. But he hit his mark consistently and conceded only three boundaries, two of which came in his opening over.

Misery Compounder of the Day
Brad Haddin's impact in these first three matches might only be trifling relative to his impressive exploits in the Ashes proper. But his presence is as welcome as the sight of an ex-lover who has clearly benefitted from a split that was all their own doing. When he strode out at 172 for 3, the game was out of England's hands. He remained dormant by his frenetic standards for the initial part of his partnership with Shaun Marsh, before peppering the boundary. He took great relish in taking it to Stuart Broad, hitting him for a four and a six in successive deliveries, before back to back fours in the rested paceman's next over. He simply won't leave England alone.

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