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Watson’s maiden ton sets up series victory

Shane Watson collects his maiden ODI century to power Australia to a seven-wicket victory in the third one-day international against the West Indies on Sunday.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, St George's (grenada)
UPDATED ON JUL 01, 2008 01:55 AM IST

Shane Watson collected his maiden ODI century to power Australia to a seven-wicket victory in the third one-day international against the West Indies on Sunday.

Watson, playing in his first one-day series since the final of the World Cup last year, hit 126 from 122 balls as Australia, chasing 224 runs from their allocation of 50 overs, hit their target. The winning runs came when Xavier Marshall delivered a wide delivery to Michael Clarke down the leg-side that went all the way to the boundary with 57 balls to spare at the Queen's Park Oval.

The victory gave Australia an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, after they won opening match by 84 runs last Tuesday at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex and the second ODI by 63 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method on Friday at this venue.

Watson got into his stride quickly, after Australia suffered an early setback when Shaun Marsh was bowled by Fidel Edwards for a five-ball duck in the opening over of the chase. But Watson found captain Ricky Ponting a stable ally and they put the visitors firmly on course for victory in a stand of 190 for the second wicket.

Watson reached his 50 from 48 balls in spectacular fashion in the 13th over bowled by Sulieman Benn. He cut a succession of long hops from the beanpole left-arm spin bowler through backward point for three of the 15 fours he struck.

But the champagne moment for Watson came in the 32nd over when he pulled his 106th delivery from West Indies captain Chris Gayle --- bowling his part-time off-spin --- through mid-wicket for his 13th four to reach his landmark.

Watson's stroke-play overshadowed that from Ponting, but the captain still reeled off a few delightful strokes and reached his 50 when he pushed his 57th ball from Benn into the covers for a single.

West Indies: Gayle run out 53, Marshall c Ronchi b Watson 35, Sarwan c Symonds b Johnson 31, Chanderpaul c Ronchi b Symonds 32, Bravo lbw b Symonds 7, Fletcher st Ronchi b Bracken 12, Ramdin b Bracken 21, Sammy c and b Lee 3, Powell run out 2, Edwards not out 7, Benn b Bracken 1; Extras: (lb-6, w-10, nb-3) 19;

Total: (in 48 overs) 223; Fall of wkts: 1-86, 2-99, 3-160, 4-168, 5-172, 6-195, 7-211, 8-214, 9-220. Bowling: Lee 9-1-36-1, Bracken 9-0-26-3, Johnson 8-1-41-1, Hopes 3-0-23-0, Symonds 7-0-42-2, Watson 5-0-23-1, Clarke 7-0-26-0.

Australia: Marsh b Edwards 0, Watson c Sarwan b Sammy 126, Ponting c Marshall b Gayle 69, Clarke not out 11, Symonds not out 8; Extras: (lb-2, w-9, nb-2) 13; Total: (for 3 wkts in 40.3 overs) 227

Fall of wkts: 1-1, 2-191, 3-207

Bowling: Edwards 6-0-35-1, Powell 6-0-33-0, Benn 10-1-59-0, Bravo 9-0-47-0, Sammy 4-0-20-1, Gayle 5-0-26-1, Marshall 0.3-0-5-0.

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