Hayden helps Aussies to yet another win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayden helps Aussies to yet another win

By Will Swanton 13/12/2002 09:58:02 PM Comments (0)

Matthew Hayden is virtually unstoppable.

The best Test batsman in the world overshadowed whirlwind opening partner Adam Gilchrist during a match-winning century stand that ensured Australia's seven-wicket victory over England in the limited overs tri-series clash at the SCG.

Chasing England's gallant 8-251, Australia reached 3-252 with five overs to spare in front of a full house of almost 40,000.

Hayden stood tall with 98 from 92 balls, including eight fours and two sixes, following Gilchrist's energetic early contribution of 53 from 50.

If ever an innings deserved to reach three figures, it was Hayden's.

A mountain of runs over the last two years has made him the game's No.1 Test batsman - and his one-day status will soon be the same if he keeps this up.

The only man who can get Hayden out right now is Hayden.

It all looked so easy and risk-free until he fell to offspinner Ian Blackwell (2-38 off 10 overs), gifting a catch to mid-on.

He tossed his head back, knowing a third international one-day century had gone begging.

The signs were good right from the start.

He stroked a six over mid-wicket from Andy Caddick and then came up with a remarkable sweep shot from medium pacer Craig White that whistled to the boundary rope and bounced up, hitting a spectator smack-bang on the forehead.

Gilchrist was the first to reach 50 from 44 balls, with seven fours.

Hayden was still on 45.

But Gilchrist had enjoyed most of the strike and he fell shortly thereafter when he flicked a pitched-up ball from allrounder Ronnie Irani (1-33) to mid-wicket.

Gilchrist was dynamic but the big Queenslander hurtled along at an even more rapid rate, reaching his half-century from just 38 balls.

After captain Ricky Ponting's claim during the week that Gilchrist would be ideal atop the order if he just showed the limited overs game a little more respect, the dashing left-hander blocked out the first over of the innings from James Kirtley.

That was as long as he wanted - or needed - to get his eye in.

He then cut loose. By the time Australia reached 0-100 in 13.2 overs, England's respectable tally was looking totally inadequate.

Gilchrist's quick-fire knock showed exactly why Ponting wants him to open with Hayden from now all the way through to the fast-approaching World Cup rather than use another specialist opener.

Gilchrist might fail every now and again to a risky shot, but when he comes off, the rewards for the Australians are massive, especially when Hayden is in majestic touch alongside him like the night.

England openers Marcus Trescothick (60) and Nick Knight (111 not out) had also put on an opening stand of 101, but it had taken them three overs longer.

Brett Lee was on a hat-trick in the final over of England's innings, but Andy Caddick saw him out.

Lee finished with 4-47 from eight overs - successful but a bit expensive again.

Darren Lehmann's 10 overs of offspin netted 3-32 and he followed that up to be not out 27 with Damien Martyn (46 not out) when Australia cruised to victory.

The only Australian to disappoint was allrounder Shane Watson, who was hauled out of the attack with 0-25 from three overs.

Trescothick hit Watson's second ball for six over mid-off and his third ball for four through the same area.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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