Hussey steers Australia home

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David Hussey

David Hussey underlines his importance for Australia by hitting an assured unbeaten 68 to steer them to a four-wicket victory at Sydney

David Hussey struck a composed half-century to guide Australia to a four-wicket win in the third one-day international in Sydney.

Set just 215 to win, victory seemed a certainty for Australia on a flat pitch at the SCG.

However, despite being without their first-choice attack of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan, England battled hard and reduced Australia to 100 for five to give themselves a sniff.

Their efforts proved to be in vain, though, as Hussey, well supported by Steven Smith and John Hastings, followed up Brad Haddin’s fluent half-century with an unbeaten 89-ball 68.

Victory, achieved with four overs to spare, earned Australia a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.

Earlier, the England batsmen manufactured their own downfall by losing wickets at regular intervals after Andrew Strauss won the toss.

During a sloppy batting performance, in which several players got themselves out, only Jonathan Trott emerged with any credit after hitting a typically assured 84 not out.

England’s woes started in the first over when Matt Prior registered his second consecutive duck since returning to the side after a 12-month absence.

He fell in the first over when he was trapped leg before by a Brett Lee delivery that, unlike the preceding ones which swung away, nipped back slightly.

His loss hampered the tourists from the off, although Trott finally picked up their first boundary, after a 25-ball wait, with a fluent cover-drive off Lee, who finished with 3-27.

But, just when he and Strauss seemed to be settling, England lost another wicket through a poor run-out.

With the batsmen stopping and starting, both ended up at the non-striker’s end, leaving an easy opportunity for the gleeful hosts. Strauss was the one to go.

England's problems deepened soon after as Ian Bell was caught and bowled via a leading edge by a diving Shane Watson to depart for 10.

That left pressure on Trott and Eoin Morgan to rebuild. Unlike the rest of his England career, Morgan looked noticeably out of nick during the start of his innings, although he did break the shackles with a down-the-ground four off Smith.

Chris Tremlett and England

Chris Tremlett was among the England bowlers who impressed as they dragged themselves back into the third ODI against Australia

After Trott reached his half-century from 62 balls, Morgan lifted Hussey over extra-cover for another boundary.

He fell three balls later, though, middling a half-tracker to midwicket, where Michael Clarke to take a sensational diving catch.

England’s strife worsened when Paul Collingwood was bowled after missing a straight one from Doherty, who then had Michael Yardy caught and bowled.

Trott and Luke Wright set about another rebuilding effort but, again, just as it seemed they seemed set to enjoy the fruits of their hard work, the latter nicked Hastings behind on 32.

Chris Woakes made 12 and kept Trott company before edging to Haddin off Lee as England continued to struggle for momentum.

Ajmal Shahzad fell soon after attempting an ill-advised drive over the top and it was perhaps fitting that the innings ended in the poor manner it did, with Chris Tremlett run out after failing to run his bat in.

Shahzad and Tremlett, on the back of an impressive performances in the second game at Hobart, started excellently once again with the ball.

Tremlett was rewarded for his efforts when, after Watson had narrowly inside-edged one past the stumps, he bowled him with an excellent nip-backer.

Shaun Marsh, promoted to number three after making a brilliant century in the last game, started positively, flicking Shahzad over square-leg for four, but the Yorkshire seamer got his revenge, though, trapping him leg before from round the wicket.

Undeterred, Haddin was in no mood to hang around, regularly giving himself room to flay the ball over the off side.

But wickets continued to tumble at the other end with Woakes enjoying success in his first over on his ODI debut. Skipper Clarke was the man to go, clipping to midwicket, where Yardy took a juggling catch.

Haddin almost followed moments later on 37, but Tremlett spilled a low chance at mid-off off Wright.

Jonathan Trott

Jonathan Trott was the only England batsman to emerge with any real credit after striking an impressive 84 not out in a total of 214

It did not prove too costly as, after Collingwood trapped Cameron White lbw for seven, Haddin inexplicably hit the same bowler straight to Woakes long-on.

Smith illustrated his intent by striking Collingwood for six over square-leg before carving Shahzad through point, which seemed to spark a momentum shift.

But, again, just as one side seemed to be looking comfortable, things changed with Smith, on 26, skying a pull off Tremlett to Yardy, running in from mid-off.

Hussey remained the mainstay for Australia while Hastings hung around, carting a Yardy full toss over midwicket for six before keeping his cool to finish the job.

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