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

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Premier League: Nigel Pearson insists his players must forget about their win against Manchester United

Nigel Pearson has been trying to make Leicester forget about their Manchester United win ever since they beat them 5-3.

Transfer news: Andre Schurrle nears Chelsea exit after agreeing personal terms with Wolfsburg

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle is closing on a move back to Germany after agreeing to personal terms with Wolfsburg.

Premier League: Roberto Mancini could make a return to English football

Roberto Mancini has not ruled out a return to Manchester City in the future.

Mail Box

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company