Australia beat West Indies despite defiant Pollard

SYDNEY Fri Feb 8, 2013 5:09pm IST

1 of 2. West Indies batsman Kieran Powell hits a shot during the limited overs international cricket match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground February 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Opener Shane Watson top-scored with 76 as Australia continued to dominate West Indies during a convincing five-wicket victory in the fourth one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

Kieron Pollard earlier hit a defiant unbeaten century to haul West Indies almost single-handedly to 220 all out but it never looked like being enough and the hosts took a 4-0 lead in the five-match series with 31 balls to spare.

Watson scored a century on his return from injury as Australia wrapped up the series on Wednesday but his innings was not as assured on Friday and he had a couple of lives before departing, caught behind off the bowling of Tino Best.

Paceman Best returned later to dismiss Australia skipper Michael Clarke (37) in similar circumstances with the scores level, which left Glenn Maxwell to push the winning run through the covers.

Left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson (3-36) ripped through the West Indies' top order on a bright, sunny day at the SCG and for a while it looked like Australia might crush the visitors.

One-day specialist Pollard, though, fought a one-man rearguard action with a brilliant but controlled innings of 109 not out to ensure there would be no repeat of the dismal 70-run effort with which West Indies opened the series in Perth.

Sunil Narine (23) offered some support in a 64-run partnership for the ninth wicket before Pollard recorded his third one-day century, reaching 99 with his second six and taking a single off the next ball.

Pollard's first six after he had hit 11 fours flew into the stands at long-on, hitting an inattentive security guard full on the head. He was left without a partner when Best was run out with two balls remaining in the 50 overs.

Australia will try to secure a series sweep in the final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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