University of West Indies Vice-Chancellor's XI v Australians June 22, 2008

Watson stars in easy Australian win

Cricinfo staff

Australians 337 for 6 (Watson 95, D Hussey 55, Clarke 53, M Hussey 50) beat Vice-Chancellors XI 126 (Ramdin 43) by 211 runs

Shane Watson's 95 helped the Australians toward 337 © Getty Images

Shane Watson belted 95 from 85 balls to push his case for an opening slot in the ODI series as the Australians comfortably outclassed the University of West Indies Vice-Chancellor's XI at the Three Ws Oval. Australia triumphed by 211 runs in the day-night encounter, which was also notable for Nathan Bracken's three-wicket return in his first match for Australia since having knee surgery in March.

After the stand-in captain Michael Clarke chose to bat, Shaun Marsh and Watson began proceedings aggressively, but Marsh could not build on his good start, falling for 38 off Darren Sammy. Michael Hussey was the next man in, and he blitzed exactly 50 and added 103 with Watson.

Watson increased his boundary count to six fours and four sixes, but fell short of a hundred when Kavesh Kantasingh, the left-arm spinner, hung on to an outstanding caught-and-bowled chance. Still, the effort was probably enough to ensure Watson opens in the first ODI on Tuesday as Australia require replacements for the injured Matthew Hayden and the retired Adam Gilchrist.

After Watson departed, Clarke made merry, scoring 53 off 35 balls, before retiring to give the other batsmen an opportunity to fine-tune their batting. The final thrust to the Australians' innings was given by David Hussey, who launched five sixes in his 55, and Cameron White, who made 34.

The Vice-Chancellor's XI found the Australian pace attack tough to handle when they began the chase, collapsing to 44 for 4 with each of the first four bowlers taking a wicket. Denesh Ramdin, among five players in the team with international experience, briefly delayed the inevitable by making 43, but he fell to David Hussey's part-time offspin.

Bracken then took a brace of tail-end wickets as the home side folded up in the 34th over. Australia rested Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee, while Brad Haddin sat out to give his broken finger more time to recover and Andrew Symonds, who is in doubt for Tuesday's game, continued to have back problems.