SYDNEY: David Hussey halted a middle-order collapse and guided Australia to a four-wicket victory over England in the third one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Hussey's 68 not out helped Australia to reach 215-6 and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, after it had appeared they would fail to achieve the target when Paul Collingwood captured two quick wickets to leave Australia floundering at 100-5.
The 33-year-old Hussey steadied the innings with Steve Smith (26) and then John Hastings (18 not out), who cut Chris Tremlett to Ajmal Shahzad at deep backward point for the two runs required for the win.
Brad Haddin had held the top of the innings together with an aggressive 54, though the other top-five batsmen failed to make it into double figures.
Jonathan Trott (84 not out) had anchored England's score of 214, though he failed to take advantage of the powerplay in the final overs when he was batting with the tail and seemed content to push for singles rather than chance his arm despite only three players being allowed outside the fielding circle.
England were again guilty of failing to bat out their full complement of overs. Chris Tremlett (1) was run out on the final ball of the 48th over when he failed to ground his bat, which denied Trott the possibility of a last flurry.
Trott shared in a 57-run partnership with Eoin Morgan (30) and 49 runs with Luke Wright (32) but too many of England's batsmen threw their wickets away with loose shots.
Brett Lee took three for 27 off eight overs and was a constant menace throughout the England innings, earning the man-of-the match award.
A. Strauss run out 23 M. Prior lbw b Lee 0 J. Trott not out 84 I. Bell c & b Watson 10 E. Morgan c Clarke b D.Hussey 30 P. Collingwood b Doherty 1 M. Yardy c & b Doherty 7 L. Wright c Haddin b Hastings 32 C. Woakes c Haddin b Lee 12 A. Shahzad c White b Lee 4 C. Tremlett run out 1
Extras: (w-6, nb-1, lb-3) 10
Total: (all out, 48 overs) 214
Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-38 3-61 4-118 5-119 6-130 7-179 8-199 9-208 10-214
Bowling: Lee 8-0-27-3 (w-1, nb-1), Bollinger 8-0-36-0, Hastings 10-0-51-1 (w-3), Watson 6-0-17-1, Smith 3-0-19-0, Doherty 10-0-37-2 (w-1), D. Hussey 3-0-24-1 (w-1)
S. Watson b Tremlett 9 B. Haddin c Woakes b Collingwood 54 S. Marsh lbw b Shahzad 6 M. Clarke c Yardy by Woakes 9 C. White lbw b Collingwood 7 D. Hussey not out 68 S. Smith c Yardy b Tremlett 26 J. Hastings not out 18
Extras: (w-11, lb-7) 18
Total: (for six wickets, 46 overs) 215
Fall of wickets: 1-10 2-27 3-59 4-92 5-100 6-163
Did not bat: Brett Lee, Xavier Doherty, Doug Bollinger.
Bowling: Shahzad 10-0-45-1 (w-6), Tremlett 9-0-50-2 (w-4), Woakes 7-0-31-1, Wright 2-0-12-0, Yardy 10-0-45-0, Collingwood 8-0-25-2 (w-1)
Result: Australia won by four wickets
Australia lead best-of-seven series 3-0
Man of match: Brett Lee (Australia)
Next match: January 26, Adelaide