Canberra: Australia can now switch their focus to the upcoming tour of India after sealing the limited overs series with the West Indies in Canberra on Wednesday.
Shane Watson’s century as a specialist batsman laid the platform for Australia’s 39-run victory to secure an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best of five series. Watson looked in sublime touch opening the batting, making a sterling 122 from just 111 balls and showing no sign of the calf injury sustained in the Boxing Day Test.
“The last couple of weeks with my comeback in grade cricket and NSW didn’t work out to plan, so to be able to bat out there on a beautiful wicket helped my confidence once I got a few out of the middle,’’ Watson said.
“Getting out last Sunday, I was starting to worry a little bit that I might not have enough form going into the Indian series, but it was nice to spend some time in the middle. You don’t bat for a while and you feel like you’ve lost it, so it’s nice to feel like I am back.’’
“In one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket, you’ve got plenty of freedom, on nearly very good batting wickets as well. It certainly makes it a bit easier when the wicket’s nice and true.”
“The more I (create chances of a century) I suppose in any form of the game, the more chances I've got of converting those scores into the bigger ones. That’s something that I’ve seen Michael [Clarke] do unbelievable well over the last year. Today was one of those steps along the line, just to be able to clear my mind like I did for a majority of my innings.”
Another half-century from the in-form Phil Hughes (86) and a quick-fire 44 from 22 balls from George Bailey helped Australia reach 329 for seven, an imposing total on most grounds but not far above par on the flat Manuka Oval surface.
The Windies showed fight sadly lacking in the opening two games of the series in Perth as they endeavoured to make a contest of the historic match, organised as part of Canberra’s Centenary celebrations. The brothers Bravo, Darren and Dwayne, combined for a 114-run partnership for the third wicket to give the Windies hope of chasing down the target.
One of the highlights for the Windies was an amazing one-handed catch from Kieron Pollard which will be a massive hit on You Tube. Pollard used his entire 1.96m frame to leap high in the outfield and snatch the ball with one hand before keeping himself from touching the rope, to the dismay of Glenn Maxwell (4). (Agencies)