| Australia’s Michael Clarke en route to his unbeaten 55 during the fourth one-dayer at the Queen’s Park Oval on Saturday. (AP)
Port-of-Spain: World champions Australia steamed to a 67-run victory over the West Indies to clinch the ODI series 4-0 with three matches remaining at Queen’s Park Oval Saturday.
The Australians registered their 21st consecutive ODI win which was also their 11th straight victory against the West Indies.
Ricky Ponting’s team powered to 286 for five in 50 overs and bowled out the West Indies for 219 off 45.3 to underline the gulf in experience and performance between the two sides.
The West Indies, pinned down by Australia’s pacemen early in the innings, were always well behind the asking rate and self-destructed with three suicidal run outs.
Man-of-the-Match Adam Gilchrist top-scored for Australia with 84 and youngster Michael Clarke contributed a blazing 55 off 40 balls.
Gilchrist, freshened up after sitting out last Wednesday’s victory in St Lucia, hammered nine fours and a six in his 103-ball knock while the 22-year-old Clarke, who scored an unbeaten 75 in St Lucia, provided late fireworks with six boundaries and a six.
Clarke rode his luck — he was bowled off a Corey Collymore no-ball and was reprieved on 47 by Ricardo Powell who dropped a dolly in the deep — to remain unbeaten in three ODI outings.
Yet again the West Indian bowlers lacked penetration and were unable to dismiss the Australians for the fourth time. After four matches, bowlers Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Brad Hogg, Andy Bichel and Glenn McGrath have yet to bat in the series, such has been the dominance of Australia’s top six batsmen.
Opener Chris Gayle hit 84 off 113 balls in the West Indian reply, but apart from skipper Lara’s 40 off 47 balls, he found little support.
The Windies got off to a shaky start with Ricardo Powell falling in the sixth over with the score at 20 when Ponting dived to his left to take a blinding two-handed catch off Gillespie.
Wavell Hinds and Ramnaresh Sarwan followed soon and the Windies were 77 for three after 22 overs when Lara came to crease with his side needing 210 runs off 27 overs.
Lara clubbed 15 runs off one Ian Harvey over but was out to a Matthew Hayden catch off Symonds. In the four innings in the ODI series, the master batsman has yet to register a half-century.
Gayle was trapped leg-before by a slower Harvey delivery, leaving the home side 174 for five with just over 12 overs left. (AFP)