Pollard sets up Windies win
Kieron Pollard (Gallo Images)
Gros Islet - Kieron Pollard smashed a blistering century as the West Indies defeated Australia by 42 runs in the fourth one-day international on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
The 24-year-old Pollard hit eight sixes and five fours in his 70-ball 102 as the West Indies made 294 for seven off 50 overs, their highest score at the picturesque Beausejour Stadium.
In reply, Australia, who were dismissed for 252, never recovered from losing five wickets in making 112 by the 21st over despite skipper Shane Watson (28), Peter Forrest (24), George Bailey (25) and Mike Hussey (26) all getting decent starts.
A sixth-wicket partnership of 67 between David Hussey and Matthew Wade kept Australia in the game.
But when Wade holed out with an ugly slog off Pollard's medium pace from the last ball of the 34th over, after making a solid 16 to provide David Hussey with valuable support, the game was virtually up for Australia.
Hussey was then clean-bowled by Kemar Roach for 57 off 54 balls, an innings which featured seven fours.
His dismissal in the 39th over, with the score on 196 for seven, came just two balls after Brett Lee had been hurt when a wild Roach full toss clattered into his left hand.
But Lee valiantly hit back by making a career-best 59, an exciting cameo which featured five fours and five sixes before he ran out of partners.
"Today was just what we've been looking for, when we were sitting down as a batting group and planning," said West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, whose side can claim a first series win over Australia in 17 years if they take Sunday's last match.
"It was the kind of total we could defend. We are looking forward to the final game. It would be good if we could get a series win."
Watson admitted his batsmen had let his side down.
"Unfortunately at the top of the order me and David Warner haven't been able to bat on deep into the innings -- I think that would have made chasing a bit easier," he said.
"We've seen Kieron Pollard in the IPL and around the world and how hard he hits the ball. We'll have to revisit our plans to him."
Earlier, Pollard brought up his second ODI century in emphatic fashion with a huge six over midwicket in the final over off Lee.
West Indies clobbered 145 runs off the last 12 overs with veteran quick Lee finishing with figures of 2 for 72 -- 23 of those runs coming off his final over.
Openers Johnson Charles (37), playing on his home ground, and the recalled Adrian Barath (41) gave the West Indies a solid foundation with a first-wicket stand of 56 by the 11th over.
Australia won the first match in Kingstown by 64 runs before West Indies won by five wickets in a rain-affected second match on Sunday.
That win ended the West Indies' miserable run of 15 defeats in 16 one-dayers against Australia.
The third ODI on Tuesday ended in a thrilling tie while the final match takes place here on Sunday.