Australia Take Fourth One Day International By One Run
Australia beat the West Indies by just one run in the fourth One Day International in St Kitts as Shane Watson bowled a nerveless final over to deny the home side victory, although Michael Clarke marked his ODI captaincy debut with a fine for his side's slow over rate.
Half-centuries from all-rounder Andrew Symonds and debutant David Hussey helped Australia post 282 for eight before the West Indies, who won the toss, made it to 281 for
six with Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul passing 50.
However, when Chanderpaul (53) was bowled by Nathan Bracken off the final ball of the penultimate over, Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy required eight to win but Watson's over conceded one run per ball which handed Australia victory by the narrowest possible margin.
Earlier, Shaun Marsh (16) and Shane Watson (20) were both caught by Denesh Ramdin off of Daren Powell before innings of 37 from Mike Hussey and 36 from Michael Clarke stabilised the innings.
They added 50 for the third wicket but the real partnership of substance came after Hussey was caught by Dwayne Bravo off of Darren Sammy and Clarke was trapped in front by debutant spinner Nikita Miller.
Symonds (87) and David Hussey, brother of Michael, who hit 50, put on 127 runs for the fifth wicket with Symonds blasting two sixes and ten fours while Hussey hit two sixes and one four in his 51-ball innings.
Symonds was at the crease for 78 deliveries, falling in the 47th over when he was caught by Bravo off of Fidel Edwards.
Hussey was caught by substitute Kemar Roach off of Chris Gayle while James Hopes (nought) and Luke Ronchi (12) were the other men to fall, to Edwards and Bravo respectively.
Edwards took two for 53 and Powell two for 66, with Bravo, Sammy, Gayle and Miller taking one each.
The West Indian run chase got off to a poor start when Xavier Marshall was trapped in front by Brett Lee for a two-ball duck but a 137-run stand between Gayle (92) and Sarwan (63) put Australia on the back foot for a change with Gayle smashing four sixes and six fours in his 92-ball innings.
Sarwan was caught by Ronchi off of Lee and Gayle followed ten overs later but with the ever-reliable Chanderpaul at the crease, the game was in the balance, despite the wickets of Dwayne Bravo (31) and Shawn Findlay (nine).
However, the fall of Chanderpaul proved decisive as Ramdin finished unbeaten on five and Sammy on three and although West Indies fought valiantly, Australia take a 4-0 lead in the series ahead of the final match on Sunday.
Lee took three for 64, with Bracken, James Hopes, and Watson taking a wicket apiece while David Hussey's two overs disappeared for 20 with Mitchell Johnson the most economical with figures of nought for 40 from his ten overs.
Australia were without injured captain Ricky Ponting, meaning that Michael Clarke takes over the reins.
West Indies also handed a debut to Jamaican batsman Findlay.
© Cricket World 2008