Shane Watson Comes Back In Style

Shane Watson was fantastic in his return to international cricket.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Australian vice-captain Shane Watson returned to international cricket in style to help his side to a third straight victory in the best of five One Day International series against the visiting West Indies.

Australia took a 3-0 series lead and victory after Wednesday’s 39-run win at Manuka Oval in Canberra with Watson providing the spark.

The Aussies finished their innings with a total of 7-329 in front of a sellout crowd of 12,000. Watson, who replaced Usman Khawaja, in the Australian team delivered 122 runs from 11 balls in his first international action since suffering a calf injury in the Boxing Day Test match.

Phil Hughes provided excellent support, knocking out 86 from 93 deliveries and combining for a 112 second-wicket stand with Watson.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy claimed the wicket of Hughes, caught behind, when the No.3 batsman went for a huge cover drive before Kieron Pollard took a memorable catch, possibly an all-time great, flying over the rope to snatch a Glenn Maxwell six attempt.

The visitors threatened a comeback, but required an average of more than 11 runs an over as the match came closer to an end. Andre Russell provided a spark with a couple of big fours in a hurry before being caught behind from a Clint McKay ball, but James Faulkner wrapped things up by taking the final two wickets of Sammy (8) and Narine (1) in impressive fashion, nailing both with clean balls.

Darren Bravo was the visitor’s best with bat (86) while brother Dwayne (51) and Kieran Powell (47) were also solid.

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