Haddin Century Keeps Australia Alive In Sydney

Australia 301-9 (Haddin 109, Clarke 64, M Hussey 51) beat
New Zealand 269 (Elliott 115, Fulton 40, White 2-11) by 32 runs

Third One Day International, Sydney, NZ lead series 2-1
By Jim White

Australia shuffled their batting order and got the perfect response as a Brad Haddin century helped them beat New Zealand by 23 runs in the third One Day International at the Sydney Cricket Ground, keeping their series hopes alive.

Haddin's 109 enabled the hosts to post 301 for nine before New Zealand were bowled out for 269 with Grant Elliot hitting 115 and four Australian bowlers taking two wickets.

With Ricky Ponting returning ahead of schedule to lead the side, and Australia 2-0 down with three to play, a good performance was essential and they got that with Haddin replacing David Warner at the top of the order, the youngster left out to accommodate Ponting's return.

Haddin (109) and Michael Clarke (64) put on 135 for the first wicket in 23.3 overs before Clarke was caught by Martin Guptill off of Elliott. Australia then lost Ponting (16), David Hussey (7) and Cameron White (10) cheaply as New Zealand fought back.

However, just as in the previous match in Melbourne, Mike Hussey steadied the ship with a vital half-century, this one of an altogether character as he blasted 51 in just 32 balls, carrying on from where Haddin had left off when he was run out by Brendon McCullum having hit eight fours and three sixes in his maiden ODI century.

Callum Ferguson chipped in late on with 28 in 23 balls before Iain O'Brien bowled James Hopes to finish with three for 68. Elliott managed two for 44 and Kyle Mills two for 59.

New Zealand had already been put on the back foot when McCullum was hit on the shoulder during Australia's innings, meaning he was unable to open the innings and the makeshift opening pair of Peter Fulton and Guptill added just 12 runs before Guptill was caught by Ferguson off of Nathan Bracken.

Fulton played a good hand, making 40 in 63 balls but the dismissals of Ross Taylor (2), Neil Broom (15), Kyle Mills (2) and Daniel Vettori (2) would have seen the Black Caps' innings fade away but for another superb performance from all-rounder Elliott.

Following up his match-winning unbeaten half-century in Melbourne, he hit eight fours on his way to a maiden One Day International century and with Tim Southee chipping in with 17 and McCullum bravely hammering 36 in 27 balls New Zealand were still in with a chance, but Elliot's dismissal when he pulled Hopes to Mike Hussey at midwicket was the wicket Australia needed.

McCullum fell ten runs later when he looped Ben Hilfenhaus to Ponting at mid-off and Jeetan Patel, who had earlier been savaged for 25 runs in just three overs, was bowled by Bracken to complete proceedings.

The fourth match takes place on February 10th in Adelaide.

© Cricket World 2009