CHESTER-LE-STREET (England), July 7: David Hussey's fighting innings of 70 guided Australia to 200 for nine in the fourth One-day International against England here on Saturday.
Australia were in dire straits at 96 for five when Hussey took guard but his 73-ball innings, featuring nine fours, kept the tourists in the match.
Together with Brett Lee, he put on 70 for the seventh wicket.
England, 2-0 up in this five-match series, would have been in an even stronger position had they not dropped four catches, with Hussey reprieved on 15 and 29.
Fast bowler Steven Finn, twice on a hat-trick, took four for 37 – just shy of his career-best four for 34 which he achieved twice against Pakistan in the UAE earlier this year.
England, after winning the toss in overcast conditions, saw Finn claim two wickets in successive balls as Australia slumped to six for two in the sixth over.
First a full and straight delivery rapped David Warner on the pads, with the normally dynamic left-hander having taken 19 balls for two runs. English umpire Nigel Llong initially ruled not out, but England requested a review which showed the ball had pitched in line.
Next ball Peter Forrest was plumb lbw for a golden duck after being struck flush on the back pad.
Australia captain Michael Clarke survived the hat-trick after missing an excellent Finn delivery that cut back sharply between bat and pad.
Clarke should have been out for eight but Eoin Morgan at backward point dropped a simple chance off Tim Bresnan.
Opener Shane Watson struck Stuart Broad for four and later in the same over, after Broad had bowled a no-ball, pulled the ensuing free-hit for six.
But a stand worth 51 in 80 balls ended when Watson, trying to run the ball down to third man, played on to Bresnan for 28.
Clarke, also dropped on 28, found runs hard to and was out for 43 off 85 balls when clean bowled by Finn.
Next ball Finn had Matthew Wade brilliantly caught off the inside edge by opposing wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter, who dived to his right and grabbed the one-handed chance at the second attempt.
Once again Finn was on a hat-trick but Lee watched the next ball pass wide of his stumps.
Hussey, who survived an lbw shout from Ravi Bopara, was dropped off a low caught and bowled chance by the medium-pacer.
He was given another ‘life’ when Ian Bell, running in from the cover boundary, grassed a low chance off all-rounder Bopara.
Lee, a ball after lofting James Anderson for six, holed out for 27 before Hussey, in the last over, was caught in the deep by Anderson off Bresnan.—AFP