| Wavell Hinds, who scored his second ODI century Friday, is ecstatic after guiding West Indies to victory in Grenada. (AP)
St George’s (Grenada), May 31 (Reuters): Opener Wavell Hinds scored a career-best 125 not out to guide the West Indies to a three-wicket win over Australia in the sixth ODI Friday.
The West Indies dismissed Australia for 252 and knocked off the target in 48.4 overs to reduce the deficit in the seven-match series to 2-4.
It was Australia’s second defeat in a row after 21 consecutive victories.
“Wavell played a fantastic innings but we never really nailed any partnerships,” Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.
Hinds put on 114 for the third wicket with Ramnaresh Sarwan (50) after Brian Lara had fallen cheaply.
The 26-year-old opener hammered six sixes — five of which were to his favoured long-on region — and five boundaries.
He survived a scare at the half-century point when Brett Lee spurned a high catch at long-on, inadvertently helping the ball over the boundary for another six in the process.
Lee returned to the attack in the 40th over, Sarwan driving his first delivery to the covers where Andrew Symonds took a low diving catch to make it 181 for three.
Two balls later, Lee clean-bowled Marlon Samuels for a duck before Ricardo Powell (1) chipped a return catch to Darren Lehmann.
It was 213 for six when Ridley Jacobs fell to Andy Bichel but Hinds coolly steered the home team to victory by scoring only his second one-day International century in 74 matches.
Lee was the pick of their bowlers although he lost his accuracy at the death, his three wickets costing 50 runs.
Australia, who won the toss, were left ruing their missed chances after Adam Gilchrist, with a run-a-ball 64, and Matthew Hayden had hammered 90 in the first 15 overs.
The home spin bowlers, however, rooted out the middle-order.
Chris Gayle took three for 37 before Australia were dismissed off the last ball as Nathan Hauritz was run out.
Things could have been even worse but Lee and Bichel (41) put on 50 for the eighth wicket.
It was the first time in the series that Australia had been bowled out.
Ponting dismissed any suggestions that the world champions were easing off after already clinching the series.
“I don’t think there’s any slacking off. Wavell played one of the best innings he’s probably played in international cricket today and that was the difference between the two sides,” he said.