Australia v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Canberra

Australia seal series after Watson century

The Report by Daniel Brettig

February 6, 2013

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A

Australia 7 for 329 (Watson 122, Hughes 86) beat West Indies 290 (Darren Bravo 86, Dwayne Bravo 51, Faulkner 4-48) by 39 runs
Live scorecard and ball by ball details

Shane Watson is congratulated by Phillip Hughes, Australia v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Canberra, February 6, 2012
Shane Watson and Phillip Hughes prospered, though in contrasting styles © Getty Images
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A Shane Watson century, an Australian victory. In the minds of the coach Mickey Arthur and the captain Michael Clarke, such a scenario should occur far more often, and Watson could scarcely have made a better start to life as a non-bowling batsman with a fluent innings to set the platform for a total that proved beyond West Indies in the third ODI at a resplendent Manuka Oval.

The 39-run victory sealed the series for the hosts, but they were as satisfied by the fact that minus the distraction of allround duties Watson was able to sail to three figures on an amiable pitch. His free-scoring was followed up by a contrasting innings from Phillip Hughes, scratchy early but sublime later, while George Bailey clattered 44 from a mere 22 balls before leaving the field with a tight hamstring in the evening.

Kieron Pollard had leapt outrageously to catch Glenn Maxwell, and the visiting batsmen were set a similarly high mark to win. Their pursuit threatened to amount to something when Darren and Dwayne Bravo joined forces in an attractive stand, but Mitchell Starc broke their union just when Clarke's brow was beginning to furrow, having brought himself on to bowl after leaving out the specialist spin of Xavier Doherty.

Chris Gayle batted down the order due to a side strain suffered in the field, and was to be the first of four victims for James Faulkner, who reprised his strong showing against the tourists on this ground for the Prime Minister's XI to round up the remainder of the innings.

Smart stats

  • Australia's score of 329 is their third-highest ODI total against West Indies, and their seventh 300-plus score against them. Australia have won each of these seven matches.
  • The match aggregate of 619 is the second-highest in ODIs between these two teams.
  • Shane Watson's 122 is his second ODI century against West Indies, his seventh in ODIs, and his sixth as opener. In 73 innings as opener, Watson has averaged 48.26 at a strike rate of 92.74.
  • Australia's top three batsmen added 246 runs, which is their highest in an ODI against West Indies.
  • Darren Bravo's 86 equals his highest ODI score - he had also scored 86 against India in Kingston in 2011. It's his eighth half-century in 45 ODI innings, but his sixth in a defeat.
  • West Indies' total of 290 is their second-best against Australia in Australia, and their fourth-best against any side in that country.
  • West Indies haven't won a single international match against Australia in Australia since 2000, losing 27 out of 30 international matches (15 defeats in ODIs, ten in Tests and two in Twenty20 internationals). One Test was drawn, and two ODIs were rained out.

Seeking a record chase for their region, Devon Thomas and Kieran Powell were conservative to begin with but played some handsome strokes to reach 50 inside nine overs, Starc not gaining much swing and becoming a far more hittable bowler as a result. However Thomas' stay was ended when he miscued Clint McKay.

Powell threatened a more lasting stay before he too failed to find the middle of the bat, top edging a sweep at Glenn Maxwell that was held in agile fashion by Matthew Wade, running around from behind the stumps. The Bravo brothers were soon looking comfortable however, and Clarke looked short of options on a slow surface as Maxwell's overs dried up and the visitors engineered a realistic Twenty20 scenario.

Starc's strike was critical, coaxing Dwayne Bravo to play down the wrong line the ball after a wide, and following a drinks break Faulkner disturbed the stumps of Gayle and Darren Bravo with deliveries moving first from the off, then from the leg. Faulkner's send-off for Gayle drew a word from the umpires, and there was to be little need for histrionics as the innings petered out.

Manuka's turf had provided Watson with a chance to play himself into form at the top of the Australian batting order ahead of the Test tour of India, and he was soon in firm touch, punching down the ground and through cover with comfort and also cutting profitably. While the pitch and the opposition were not of the kinds to be faced on the subcontinent, Watson's clarity suggested he may not be seeking a return to the international bowling crease any time soon.

Aaron Finch was similarly crisp, flicking neatly to the midwicket fence more than once, and the runs arrived at pace without either batsman taking many risks. Having made a halting start to his ODI career, Finch looked capable of a major score, but soon after Watson passed 50 he gave his innings away with a dainty dab from Sammy into the gloves of Thomas standing up to the stumps.

The wicket brought a downturn in the run-rate - despite a duo of Darren Sammy no-balls, the first of which was called rather harshly by the umpire Asad Rauf - as Hughes battled to settle in. A little circumspect as he neared his century, Watson reached it confidently then accelerated, swinging lustily for a pair of sixes before he was pouched at deep backward square leg.

Hughes' innings grew steadily in fluency and speed, mirroring Bailey's Perth effort in terms of the skill of building a score from a shaky base. Clarke fell cheaply, but it was a surprise when Hughes edged Sunil Narine behind short of a century, the catch completed by Thomas via thigh as well as glove after the wicketkeeper had earlier been struck a painful blow on the thumb.

Bailey's late hitting ensured the total would go comfortably past 300, and ultimately the West Indies would leave Manuka with only Pollard's catch to console them.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
Australia 135 35 4 59/0 49/1 (30-34) 89/5 2/3
West Indies 147 30 3 55/1 39/2 (36-40) 56/5 (47.3) 1/6

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 7, 2013, 22:49 GMT)

Ah, he (Watson) aint bowling now you see. A pretend "Jack-of-all-trades" but in reality "only-fit-enough-to-be-master-of-one-at-the-most-at-any-given-time" will be found out sooner rather than later. Good knock Watto.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 7, 2013, 22:14 GMT)

pappu_bhai ; Australia has not lost any of the last 3 series, two in Australia and one in Sri Lanka against sri Lanka. Australia are 2-0. So how does Sri Lanka have the advantage?

Posted by postandrail on (February 7, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

Pappu_bhai Since 2003 Australia has played 42 ODI's against India. They have won 25 and lost 12 of them. You were saying?????

Posted by Marko12 on (February 7, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Thisara Pathiraja - Sri Lanka won two T20 games, drew the ODI series and were beaten 3-0 in the test series. In any case, I was much happier playing the West Indies, I have a lot of respect for Darren Sammy as a captain - he doesn't seem to whine everytime something doesn't go his way, he just gets on with the job and he has some great top/middle order batsmen and strike bowlers at his disposal, if they're given the time to develop.

Posted by oneupnowuv on (February 7, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

4 players bravo,russel,pollard and sammy of similar abilities but no clear cut match winning talent is a bit of luxury in an odi team.somebody has to raise their game or be dropped.

Posted by Pappu_bhai on (February 7, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Pad Marlay@ You are right.Even you can lead this WI team.

Posted by PadMarley on (February 7, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

There is one thing about current WI team. They are absolutely awesome in being or trying to be cool. All dancing... acting cool... bla bla bla. Doing perfectly better than their legends in 80s and 90s. However the pathetic reality is that when it comes to being at least marginally close to the great legends in their performance... they are no where near! T20 world cup was not a victory, it was a mistake by the Sri Lankans!! Even Bangladeshis proved that it was a mistake..WI better put more attention on consistent performances!!

Posted by   on (February 7, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

It is time for the WI to permanently dump Sarwan; he has nothing left and is totally incapable of resuscitating his career. It is time for him to give way to a younger, more deserving batsman.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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