England takes the ODI series to a decider, despite Clint McKay's hat-trick.
How it went down
Australia were again sent into bat by England captain Eoin Morgan, but unlike in the second match, a big total was far from a done deal. Aaron Finch was back in the pavilion almost as soon as he walked out there, after Steven Finn trapped the Victorian lbw with the first ball of the match. Shaun Marsh, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke tried to work the tourists back into the game, but it was George Bailey – with Adam Voges and Matthew Wade alongside him – who set the tone of the innings with a 91-ball 87. Thanks largely to Bailey, Australia set England a reasonable mark of 228 for victory.
And didn't the Aussies get off to a great start. In just the third over, Clint McKay removed Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root with a hat-trick of wickets that had England reeling at 3-8. Root's edge to Watson at first slip was as low as England's run rate at that point, but it was never in doubt as McKay deservedly celebrated one of his best moments in international cricket. Mitchell Johnson couldn't provide a similar return as in Manchester, as a 104-run stand by newcomer Michael Carberry and Morgan thwarted Australia's efforts, before they both lost their wickets soon after lifting their bats for a fifty. Jos Buttler scored quickly, ending on 65 off 48, and secured England's win with a mammoth six and a four off the final over. Both sides will now head to Southampton to end this long tour with a winner-takes-all final match.
QUICK SINGLE: England level ODI series
Bluffer's guide: "Australia should have won after McKay's hat-trick. England didn't do anything half as good as that!"
Moments that mattered
1. FINCH WOES, BAILEY GOES. Unlike in recent fixtures, Australia's top order couldn't send the tourists heading towards a good score. Finch's golden duck was his first in international cricket, and Australia's most-hated number came back to strike Bailey. The vice-captain will be disappointed not to have converted his century with just four-and-a-bit overs remaining, but in truth, losing Wade, Faulkner and Johnson in the 43rd and 45th overs was damaging as the momentum slowed to a halt.
2. McKAY TAKES A HAT-TRICK. If only someone else had chipped in with an early wicket or two as well, then McKay could have had his cake and eaten it too. The job wasn't done with England at 3-8, but it was a small success for the bowler. It was Australia's first hat-trick since March 2012, and the first time since 1998 that one had occurred in England's innings.
Hero of the day
It wasn't a match-winning hat-trick, but the Victorian bowler rattled England's top order when he removed Pietersen, Trott and Root in consecutive deliveries. You read that right – the man whose sole Test appearance came in 2009 removed England's only three Test batsmen. Like his fellow Victorian Peter Siddle in Test cricket, McKay is Australia's most reliable paceman in limited overs cricket and rarely fails to contribute.
It was only a matter of time…
Before this series came down to a decider. Australia were closer than the 3-0 Test result suggested, but a couple of bad innings and the rain meant the tourists couldn't fight enough. They will get their chance in the one-day internationals now. Clarke would have loved to secure the series win here, but maybe the lure of a last-ditch win will mean they can take something home after months overseas.
It's a numbers game
563 – Days since an Australian bowler took a one-day international hat-trick, when Dan Christian removed three Sri Lankan batsman in Melbourne.
34 in 3415 – McKay's hat-trick was just the 34th such occurrence in 3415 one-day internationals, and the first in 2013. No mean feat for a bowler, that's for sure.
87 – Loathe to mention the number, but it continues to haunt Australian batsmen.
What caught our eye
Early in Australia's innings, England lost the ball in what looked like quite a long beer snake, but in reality it was a drainage pipe. Steven Finn struggled with the pipe for a while in trying to find the ball, and it seemed impossible that a ball could find its way in there. At one point, Finn looked down the tube in search of the ball but we're not quite sure why, since the white ball doesn't glow in the dark.
Did he really say that?
"England deserve a lot of credit, they bowled well this morning when the wicket was doing a bit." If England bowled well, how would you describe Clint McKay's efforts, Clarkie? Marvellous, perhaps?
Soundtrack of the day
'Heatseeker' – AC/DC
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 15 September, 2013 7:14AM AEST