Watson Century Sets Up Australia Series Win

Watson Century Sets Up Australia Series Win
Watson Century Sets Up Australia Series Win
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 329-7 (Watson 122) beat
West Indies 290 (Faulkner 4-48) by 39 runs
Third One-Day International, Canberra

The Manuka Oval provided a rather picturesque setting for Australia to move into an unassailable 3-0 One-Day International series lead over the West Indies with a 39-run win in Canberra.

Shane Watson marked his return to the side after a long absence due to injury with a reminder of exactly why he is so important to Australia, scoring 122 as they racked up 329 for seven before bowling the West Indies out for 290.

West Indies' own brilliant opener, Chris Gayle, was unable to bat higher than number five in the order after he missed a large portion of Australia's innings with a side strain. Coming in well down, he managed just two runs and although others scored heavily - albeit not heavily enough - Australia prevailed with James Faulkner picking up four for 48 and Clint McKay two for 62.

Watson batted as if he had never been away, hitting 12 fours and two sixes as he cracked 122 in 111 balls, ably supported by Aaron Finch (38) and Phil Hughes (86 in 93 deliveries). Hughes had to work hard at times during his innings but finished well, hitting 10 fours and a six.

George Bailey then adde 44 in 22 balls with six fours and a six before a brace of wickets from Sunil Narine and one from Dwayne Bravo prevented Australia from fully capitalising on the platform that had been laid by Watson and Hughes.

Narine finished with two for 55, Darren Sammy two for 49 as Kemar Roach and Kieron Pollard also took a wicket.

With Gayle unable to bat, Kieran Powell opened with Devon Thomas, who did a decent job considering he had taken a nasty blow to the thumb while wicket-keeping, hitting 19 in 25 balls. Powell made 47 before Dwayne and Darren Bravo put on 114 for the third wicket to give the tourists a decent chance.

The younger Bravo hit seven fours and one six in making 86 in 96 balls while Dwayne, full of energy and enterprise, made 51 in 50 balls before he was bowled by Mitchell Starc.

Gayle's mini innings came to an end when he was also bowled by Faulkner and one run later, Darren Bravo was on his way too, also bowled by Faulkner.

Pollard, who had earlier equalled a West Indian record by holding four catches, was run out for seven but the West Indies continued to fight through Ramnaresh Sarwan and Andre Russell.

Sarwan made 12 in as many balls while Russell, promoted to bat ahead of him, led the charge with 43 in 31 balls including six fours and a six but his dismissal in the 46th over, caught by Matthew Wade as he failed to get on top of a short ball from McKay, signalled the end for the West Indies.

Faulkner wrapped up an impressive personal and team display by bursting through the defences of Sammy and Narine to put Australia 3-0 up with two matches - in Sydney and Melbourne - still to play.

© Cricket World 2013

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