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06-Feb-2013 11:30:00 GMT
Australia v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Canberra

Watson Ton Helps in Aussies Series Win

Canberra: Australia won the third one-day international by 39 runs over the West Indies at Manuka Oval to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series on Wednesday.

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.

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 in an over. 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.

Earlier, Shane Watson hit a century on his return from injury and Phil Hughes cracked 86 as Australia scored a daunting 329/7.

Watson, opening the innings after five weeks out with a calf injury, smashed 122 off 111 balls in a welcome return to form before this month's four-Test tour to India.

He reached his seventh ODI century off 102 balls and then set about Kemar Roach, clubbing a huge six logged at 114 metres into the stands, followed by a four as he threatened to go on for a big ton at the Manuka Oval.

But Watson holed out to Kieron Pollard one of four catches to the athletic West Indian two balls later, top-edging to deep backward square leg as he went after Roach's second-last ball of his eighth over.

Hughes, who gave a chance cutting through slip on six, threw away the opportunity to make his third ODI century this season when he was caught behind off Sammy for 86.

Wicketkeeper Devon Thomas had taken a painful blow on his thumb the previous delivery but he held the catch while standing up to the stumps to medium-pacer Sammy.

Hughes scored his runs off 93 balls with 10 fours and a six and departed with less than five overs left in the innings.

Opener Aaron Finch, who was fortunate not be caught off a leading edge on 20, was out when he tried to run a Sammy delivery down to third man only to be caught behind for 38 off 41 balls.

Finch helped put on 89 for the opening wicket with Watson and missed a great opportunity to cash in.

Skipper Michael Clarke was out to a juggling caught and bowled by Pollard for 15 in the 41st over.

Glenn Maxwell left the wicket shaking his head in disbelief when he was brilliantly caught one handed for four by a leaping Pollard on the boundary as he looked to smash spinner Sunil Narine for six.

Pollard plucked another near-replica one-handed leaping catch on the rope to end George Bailey's cameo of 44 off 22 balls and give Narine his second wicket.

Brief scores
7 for 329 (Watson 122, Hughes 86)
West Indies 290 (Darren Bravo 86, Dwayne Bravo 51, Faulkner 4-48)
Result Australia won by 39 runs
MOM Shane Watson (Australia)

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