Cricket: Hussey leads Aussies to victory

David Hussey of Australia celebrates victory during in the third ODI against England in Sydney. Photo / Getty Images
David Hussey of Australia celebrates victory during in the third ODI against England in Sydney. Photo / Getty Images

A controlled half-century by David Hussey helped Australia shrug off a poor top order batting display and claim a four-wicket victory over England at the SCG on Sunday.

Hussey made 68 (89 balls) as Australia chased down their victory target of 215 with 24 balls to spare to make it three wins from three starts for the home side in the seven-match one-day international series.

John Hastings cuffed the winning runs, finishing the match unbeaten on 18.

After bowling England out for 214 inside 50 overs, Australia made hard work of the chase, slipping to 5-100.

Brad Haddin (a breezy 54) was the only top five batsman to pass double figures as Shane Watson (9), Shaun Marsh (6), Michael Clarke (9) and Cameron White (7) all failed.

But a 63-run stand between Hussey and Steve Smith (26) put Australia back in control and the Victorian guided the hosts home after Smith's dismissal in a match that never managed to reach any great heights.

England's bowlers were led by giant Chris Tremlett (2-50) and all-rounder Paul Collingwood, who took 2-25 including the wicket of Haddin.

Youngster Chris Woakes (1-31), making his one-day debut, continued Clarke's poor summer with the bat, having him caught at midwicket.

England's batting effort was disappointing after they won the toss and elected to bat.

Jonathan Trott's unbeaten 84 was the only score over 50 but his knock was hardly express, coming off 119 deliveries and featuring just three boundaries, as England missed the middle order power of star player Kevin Pietersen.

The South African born batsman was ruled out with a groin injury, joining fast bowler Tim Bresnan (calf) and Australian duo Nathan Hauritz (shoulder) and Shaun Tait (thigh) as casualties from Friday night's match in Hobart.

Brett Lee was the pick of the bowlers for Australia, claiming 3-27 to take out the man-of-the-match prize, while youngster Luke Wright was the next best batsman for the tourists with 32.

Comical run-outs of skipper Andrew Strauss (23) and Tremlett (1) hardly aided the visitors' cause, which was halted when returning spinner Xavier Doherty (2-37) claimed the wickets of Collingwood (1) and Michael Yardy (7) in the middle overs.

Following the match Clarke said Hussey's knock showed why he will be a key part of Australia's upcoming World Cup campaign.

"I've said for a long time Dave Hussey's a wonderful player," the Australian skipper told reporters.

"It's good to see him finish the innings off today.

"I think with injury concerns with Michael Hussey and also Ricky (Ponting) he's going to play a big role for us throughout the World Cup and he's probably going to bat five or six and be that finisher.

"It was great to see him do that tonight."

English skipper Strauss said his team's batting effort had simply not been good enough and they were always chasing the game.

"215 is not enough on a wicket like that," he said.

"Jonathan Trott did a good anchor job for us but he needed someone to play and develop a partnership at the other end. Too many of us got to 20 or 30 and didn't go on.

"It's not a time to panic. There's obviously a couple of guys that aren't in brilliant form at the moment but that can change around very quickly."

The fourth match of the series is in Adelaide on Wednesday.

- AAP

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