Aust clinch series win against Windies
Shane Watson had a dream return from injury as his blistering century delivered a one-day international series victory to Australia while the West Indies let another win slip through their fingers in Canberra.
The West Indies were bowled out for 290, 39 runs shy of Australia’s massive total of 7-329 also helped by Phil Hughes’ 86 at Manuka Oval on Wednesday.
The win gives Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-game series.
In his first innings back after a month out with a calf injury, Man-of-the-Match Watson constructed his patient century at just under a run a ball, before putting his foot down on the accelerator to finish at 122 off 111.
“I’ve been looking forward to that for the last four weeks, to get out there on a nice wicket and get a few runs out of the middle,” Watson said.
“It’s one of those days that you dream of that everything even from the first ball just feels like it’s coming off the middle of your bat.
“It was a beautiful wicket out there, it was very true, so you knew if you hit through the line of the ball you had more chance of finding the middle of the bat.”
The West Indies were cruising at 2-195 before Mitchell Starc (1-50) was reintroduced into the attack and knocked over Dwayne Bravo for 51.
Bravo’s exit sparked a middle-order collapse as Chris Gayle’s (2) lean trot with the bat continued when he was clean bowled by James Faulkner (4-48).
Faulkner then backed it up three balls later, knocking over danger man Darren Bravo for 86.
West Indies all rounder Kieron Pollard was then run out by a brilliant piece of fielding by Mitchell Johnson – leaving the tourists reeling at 6-234.
Late cameos from Andre Russell (43) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (12) weren’t enough to get the West Indies across the line and the tail was soon knocked over.
Darren Bravo, who is yet to score a century in the one-day format, told reporters after the match that he believed his team had a realistic chance of chasing down the total before wickets started falling in the middle order.
“Obviously we are disappointed that we didn’t come out on top but having said that I think we can keep our heads up high,” he said.
“As players on the other team I think we can take a page from (Watson’s) book.”
The highlight of Watson’s innings was a massive 114-metre six – the longest recorded this summer.
Hughes was the other batting highlight of the match, falling short of his third one-day century of the summer when he was caught behind off the bowling of captain Darren Sammy.
Aaron Finch (38) and Michael Clarke (15) both failed to capitalise on steady starts.
Million dollar man Glenn Maxwell (4) improved on Sunday’s golden duck before he was caught by Pollard one handed in one of the all-time great boundary-rope catches.
The ball looked to be heading for a certain six before Pollard leapt up, plucked the ball out of the air, and rolled back onto the earth just centimetres from the rope.
He pulled off a similarly impressive vertical leap on the boundary just two overs later when he dismissed George Bailey, who backed up Sunday’s match-winning century with 44 off just 22 balls.
Captain Michael Clarke told reporters after the match that Bailey had suffered a hamstring strain and Western Australian batsman Adam Voges had been called up to the squad to standby for the next match.
Sunil Narine returned the best bowling figures for the visitors with 2-55 off 10 overs.© AAP 2013