Windies fail to get 330
Up tempo half-centuries by the Bravo brothers, Darren and Dwayne, were not enough to prevent West Indies falling to a 39-run defeat in the third One-Day International, as Australia took a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series here yesterday.
Asked to chase an imposing 330 for victory on an excellent batting surface at Manuka Oval, West Indies were bowled out for 290 off 47.3 overs, with the left-handed Darren top scoring with 86 and Dwayne stroking 51.
West Indies were making a fist of it at 195 for two thanks to the Bravos' third-wicket stand of 114 but left-arm seamer James Faulkner's spell of four for 48 turned the game on its head as the tourists lost their last eight wickets for 95 runs.
Earlier, opener Shane Watson signalled a return to full fitness by lashing a seamless 122 as the Aussies piled up 329 for seven from their 50 overs after winning the toss and batting.
Left-hander Phil Hughes stroked an attractive 86 while George Bailey hammered a cameo 44 down the order and opener Aaron Finch, 38.
Captain and medium pacer Darren Sammy (two for 49) and off-spinner (two for 51) picked up two wickets apiece.
Playing his first ODI of the year after being sidelined for over a month with a calf injury, Watson showed no sign of his layoff as he struck 12 fours and two sixes, in an innings that lasted 111 balls.
The right-hander put on 89 for the first wicket with Aaron Finch who scored 38 off 41 balls before edging Sammy behind, attempting to run an innocuous delivery to third man in the 16th over.
Watson and Hughes then added a further 112 runs for the second wicket with the attack-minded Hughes who faced 93 deliveries and counted ten fours and a six.
The pair played freely, experiencing little devils from the Windies attack and Watson cashed in to raise his seventh ODI hundred off a run-a-ball.
He celebrated with leg-side sixes off pacer Kemar Roach and off-spinner Chris Gayle but holed out in the 34th over off Roach, to the first of three catches on the square leg boundary by Kieron Pollard.
West Indies then managed to slow Australia's scoring, while taking key wickets. Pollard prised out captain Michael Clarke for 15 on a difficult caught and bowl chance before Hughes was well taken behind by wicketkeeper Devon Thomas standing up to Sammy at 284 for four in the 46th over.
Bailey gave the innings momentum late on by lashing six fours and a six in a 22-ball knock but he and George Maxwell (four) were snuffed out by Narine, courtesy of two astonishing Pollard catches on the deep square leg ropes.
With Gayle nursing injury, Thomas paired with Kieran Powell at the top of the order to give the Windies a solid start of 54 off 52 balls.
Thomas played positively for his 19 off 25 balls with three fours while the left-handed Powell extended his fine run with an authoritative 47 from 49 balls with six fours.
Seamer Clint McKay (two for 62) foxed Thomas with a slower ball and induced a false shot which was easily taken at cover and Powell's promising innings ended when his attempted sweep was lobbed on the on-side for wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to snare running around.
The Bravo boys then stood tall for the Windies, repairing the innings and setting the stage for an assault on their target.
Darren emerged from a tentative start to hit seven fours and a six while Dwayne faced 50 balls and registered five boundaries.
However, when Dwayne missed a forward defensive prod and had his middle stump removed by left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc in the 35th over, it signalled the start of a terminal decline.
Faulkner bowled Gayle (two) and Darren Bravo in the 38th over to reduce West Indies to 219 for five and though Andre Russell blasted six fours and a six in 43 from 41 balls, wickets continued to tumble.