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McKay hat-trick stuns England
Clint McKay's hat-trick meant England would have to do it the hard way if they were to level the NatWest Series after all at the SWALEC Stadium.
England appeared to have good prospects of making it 1-1 with one more match to play, after bowling Australia out for 227 despite George Bailey's 87.
But McKay almost immediately undermined their chase with the wickets of Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and then Joe Root at the start of his second over.
From eight for three, England captain Eoin Morgan and surviving opener Michael Carberry were up against it but did manage to reach 51 without further loss after 20 overs.
Pietersen fell lbw aiming across the line; then out-of-form Trott pushed out at a full and wide ball and was caught head-high at second slip, and Root edged an attempted drive to first for England's second successive golden duck.
Morgan and Carberry each had a scare on eight, the former gloving a very quick short ball from Mitchell Johnson straight up in the air but dropping before a fielder could scamper in, and soon afterwards his captain confirmed not out caught-behind by DRS off McKay.
Australia's innings had been a patchy performance too.
They stumbled to 11 for two, then 57 for four against England's seamers - and also lost their last five wickets for 18 runs as James Tredwell (three for 53) got his revenge for earlier punishment.
Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin did not squander their early opportunity to bowl on a pitch which spent much of the previous day and overnight under full cover with heavy rain falling.
In bright conditions, after Morgan won the toss, Finn began with a tame wide but immediately made up for it with the day's first legitimate delivery - full, straight and swinging in just enough to beat Aaron Finch's drive and send him back lbw for nought.
Rankin was on target from the outset and got his reward when Shane Watson's drive at a delivery which was not quite full enough resulted in an edge behind.
The first over of back-up medium-pace from Ben Stokes cost 10 runs, but England's first-change soon repaid Morgan's faith with the wicket of Shaun Marsh.
Bowling with enough pace to beat the left-hander's attempted pull, Stokes had his first international wicket - in his 13th limited-overs match - when Jos Buttler held an athletic catch high above his head off the glove.
Finn returned, and got rid of Michael Clarke - who went to DRS to try to reverse an lbw on the back foot only to discover Hawk-Eye simulation depicted the ball just clipping the top of the leg bail.
Bailey and Adam Voges shared 15 dot balls before a single got each off the mark, at the start of the first of two important half-century stands.
Bailey, as at Emirates Old Trafford, refused to let Tredwell settle.
Three times he struck the off-spinner for six over long-on, to go with a sweep for his solitary four in a 57-ball 50.
With Voges gone, bowled trying to pull Ravi Bopara, Bailey and Matthew Wade engaged in some chancy but effective running - several times turning apparent dots into ones and ones into twos, just.
That approach brought them 39 in an early batting powerplay, and at the start of the last 10 overs Australia were 195 for five.
The wickets column was still a worry for them, though - and so it proved.
Wade edged Tredwell to short third-man; James Faulkner was run-out attempting a quick single - and after England's off-spinner deceived Johnson in back-foot defence, Bailey was ninth out caught-behind trying to angle the returning Rankin down to third-man.