Aussies on top Down Under: One ODI left for Windies to try for small Redemption
Ricky Ponting stroked his 39th career One Day International hundred to lead his team to a fifty run win over the West Indies at the Gabba and seal the 5 match series. The win has given Australia an unassailable lead of 3-0 in Commonwealth Bank Series with one match abandoned due to rain and one more remaining.
Set 325 to win the Windies could only get to 274 for 8 from 50 overs with fifties from Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith and Narsingh Deonarine.
Once again the Windies top order let them down. Captain Chris Gayle got a start and made a typically belligerent 34 from 21 balls with six fours but fellow opener Travis Dowlin (8) and number three batsman Lendl Simmons (1) failed to register significant scores for the third consecutive time as the Windies slumped to 55 for 3.
Deonarine and Wavell Hinds (20) then battled in constructing a 45 run recovery before Hinds was run out to make it 100 for 4. Deonarine fell at 127 for five after making his first ODI fifty – 53 from 69 balls with five boundaries.
Pollard tried valiantly and top scored with 62 from 55 balls with four fours and two sixes as he and Dwayne Smith, who remained unbeaten on 59 at the end, put on 102 for the seventh wicket. Smith faced 63 balls and hit three fours and an equal number of sixes. Like Deonarine it was Pollard maiden’s ODI fifty.
Australian opening bowlers Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris took two wickets each for 44 and 64 runs respectively as the Aussie bowlers partnered to ensure the Windies run chase was kept in check throughout.
Ponting’s innings laid the foundation for the substantial Australian total as he laced the boundaries with six fours and cleared it twice during his 112 ball stay at the crease. All rounder Cameron White stroked 63 from 78 balls and James Hopes hit 42 from 21 balls with six boundaries.
The Windies were hampered by the continued injury-forced absence of ace paceman Kemar Roach. In his absence medium pacers Smith and Darren Sammy took two wickets apiece for 59 and 44 runs respectively. Ravi Rampaul, Pollard and Nikita Miller each took a wicket.
Ponting took the Man-of-the-Match award and can now rest easy knowing that the series is secure with a lone ODI to be played and two Twenty20’s remaining. The Windies will be playing for pride in the last ODI and stand a better chance of competing more meaningfully in the shortest form of the game.