Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/2/8/australia-v-west-indies-4th-odi

Australia cruise to easy win

UPDATED 19 March, 2013 4:14PM AEST | by John Greco, Omnisport 4

Australia remain on track for a crushing series clean sweep after coasting to a five-wicket victory over the West Indies at the SCG on Friday night.

After the tourists limped to 220 thanks mainly to an unbeaten century from Kieron Pollard, Australia's victory never looked in doubt as opener Shane Watson (76) top-scored to lay the platform for the chase.

Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (13) and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (four) were the unbeaten batsmen as the home side won with 31 balls to spare.

Watson, who smashed a stunning century in the previous game in Canberra on Wednesday, produced another dominant innings which thrilled the Sydney crowd of 18,161.

The 31-year-old looked set for back-to-back tons until he was undone by a wicked Tino Best (2-41) delivery, which caught the edge through to wicketkeeper Devon Thomas.

Watson had a bit of luck along the way though, especially when Thomas dropped a simpler chance while the right-hander was on 32.

He had another life just after bringing up his half-century, appearing to be easily run-out only for replays to show Narsingh Deonarine had already broken the stumps before removing the bails with the ball.

Australia made a blistering start to their chase with Watson and Aaron Finch putting on 53 for the first wicket until the latter was trapped in front by Sunil Narine (2-34) for 25.

The Victorian's position in the side must now be in serious jeopardy, with Finch managing just 104 runs from six ODI matches this summer at an average of just over 17.

The in-form Phillip Hughes (23) shared a 63-run stand with Watson before he became Narine's second victim.

Hughes was out attempting a sweep shot, missing the ball completely before it caught his glove and flew to Dwayne Bravo at first slip.

West Australian Adam Voges (28), a late inclusion for the injured George Bailey (hamstring), and Michael Clarke (37) both made strong contributions, with the skipper dismissed just before Australia reached their victory target.

Earlier, the West Indies made a disastrous start to their innings slumping to 6-55 inside the first 20 overs.

Top-order batsman Johnson Charles (0), Kieran Powell (nine) and Darren Bravo (four) were all back in the pavilion inside eight overs as they fell victim to a firing Mitchell Johnson (3-36).

Ben Cutting, playing just his second ODI, also caused havoc and finished with 3-45 as it looked like the tourists would be lucky to get to triple figures.

Cutting removed Deonarine (10) and Thomas (seven) in successive overs, thanks to catches by Finch at second slip to leave the tourists in a world of hurt.

But a fighting knock from all-rounder Pollard, who finished unbeaten on 109, and spirited resistance from the West Indies' lower order got them to a competitive target.

Skipper Darren Sammy (25), and tailenders Andre Russell (18) and Sunil Narine (23) all made valuable contributions to ensure the visitors got over 200.

Pollard showed the perfect mix of patience early in his innings before unleashing his power game in the late overs to bring up his third ODI ton.

The hard-hitting right-hander blasted 11 fours and two sixes in his 136-ball knock, bringing up his ton when he drove Clint McKay (1-41) down the ground for a single in the 49th over.

Sammy's men will now need to win the final game in Melbourne on Sunday to avoid an embarrassing 5-0 series defeat.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 08 February, 2013 10:12PM AEST

Commercial Partners