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Watson hundred lifts Aussies

cricket Updated: May 04, 2009 00:24 IST

AFP
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All-rounder Shane Watson struck a brilliant hundred to guide Australia to a commanding 250 for 4 in the fifth and final day-night international against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi Stadium here on Sunday.

The 27-year-old right-hander made 116 and shared solid stands of 58 for the first wicket with Brad Haddin (36) and another 57 for the third with Michael Clarke (26) after Australia won the toss and batted.

Watson, who came to this series after missing action since a stress fracture of his back in November last year, struck six boundaries and two sixes off paceman Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat during his second one-day hundred.

He also added 84 for the unfinished fifth wicket stand with Callum Ferguson (41 not out) as Australia made 54 runs in the last ten overs.

Watson's partnership with Haddin gave Australia a brisk start before paceman Shoaib Akhtar separated the two, claiming Haddin caught by Younus Khan off a miscued drive.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, whose action was reported illegal after the second match but was played despite the decision, removed Marcus North (five), stumped by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

Clarke, who hit a brilliant unbeaten 100 in Australia's eight-wicket win in the fourth match here on Friday, steadied the innings with Watson before Gul had him caught behind the wicket. Andrew Symonds made 15 before he was bowled by Shoaib Malik in the 37th over.