Not bad for openers

Shane Watson could not have hoped for a better return to one-day international cricket than to score a century in Australia's series-clinching win against the West Indies, says Ian Harvey.

Last Updated: 06/02/13 at 15:51 Post Comment

Watson, returning from a calf injury which had kept him out of international action since Boxing Day, struck 122 off 111 balls in Canberra to guide the hosts to a 39-run victory in the third one-dayer that secured an unassailable 3-0 lead with two matches of the series remaining.

Phil Hughes (86) and George Bailey (44) also weighed in as Australia racked up 329-7 before bowling the tourists out for 290 in 47.3 overs, but it was Watson's ton that caught Harvey's eye.

"It's great to see him back at the top of the order for Australia because I do think they've missed him," the former Baggy Greens all-rounder told Sky Sports.

"It's so hard for a captain to set a field for someone like Shane Watson because he hits all around the ground. If you drop a fraction short he can still get on that front foot and pull you away and if you get up full he drives you and hits you back over the top of your head."

Hindered

The West Indies' chase was well-placed as Darren Bravo (86) and Dwayne Bravo (51) guided the score to 195-2 inside 35 overs after Kieran Powell had struck a swift 47.

But the innings faltered when both fell in the space of 20 runs, together with the wicket of skipper Chris Gayle, who batted down the order at five after sustaining a side strain in the field.

"There were a lot of starts but no-one went on with it," reflected Harvey. "Gayle had to come in lower down the order and that really hindered them at the top of the order.

"Devon Thomas [19] did a fairly decent job coming up after he got knocked on the thumb while wicket-keeping but I still think they missed the presence of Gayle at the top.

"They'll be disappointed because they did get a lot of starts - they just needed someone to go on and play that Watson role and get that hundred, which the other batters could then bat around."

Examination

Left-arm seamer James Faulkner bagged the wickets of both Darren Bravo and Gayle on his way to figures of 4-48 from 8.3 overs.

But with a four-Test series against India starting on February 22, Harvey was impressed with how the Australian attack worked as a unit.

"That was a good examination for the Australian bowlers," he said. "The ball didn't swing anywhere near as much as it did in the first couple of ODIs in Perth.

"So it was good to see how they reacted. I think they may have overdone the slower ball today but they had to try different things.

"A lot of these bowlers will be off to India shortly and they are going to play on wickets where the ball won't swing as much and they are going to have to come up with different ways of not only trying to get batsmen out but trying to stem the run flow."

Watch the fourth one-day international between Australia and West Indies, live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 3am on Friday.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Champions League: Eden Hazard is in a race against time to be fit to face Atletico Madrid

Eden Hazard will need to return to full training quickly if he is to be considered for Tuesday's Champions League match.

Primera Liga: Leaders Atletico Madrid pull six points clear after 2-0 win over Elche

Joao Miranda and Diego Costa scored as Primera Liga leaders Atletico Madrid beat Elche 2-0 to pull six points clear.

Yaya Toure feels he does not get the respect he deserves because he is from Africa

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure feels he does not get the respect he deserves because he is from Africa.

Mail Box

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property