Australia maintained their dominance over the West Indies by cruising to a five-wicket victory to lead their one-day international series 4-0 at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.
Only a belligerent unbeaten century from Kieron Pollard gave the West Indies a respectable score of 220 after they were 55-6 at one stage.
However, the total was easily run down by Australia, who secured victory with 31 balls to spare and will now go after a series whitewash in Melbourne tomorrow.
If not for Pollard’s 109 off 136 balls it would have been an even more emphatic victory for Michael Clarke’s team, who always had control of the run chase under lights.
Shane Watson followed up his 122 in Wednesday’s 39-run series-clinching win in Canberra with 76 off 84 balls and skipper Clarke hit 37 off 65 balls, before he was out gloving down the leg-side to express bowler Tino Best with the scores level.
Glen Maxwell came in and hit the winning run with Matthew Wade not out on 13.
Yet despite Australia’s dominance, the towering Pollard was named man of the match for preventing his team’s innings from falling apart after it had tottered at 55-6, before a series of late partnerships gave his side something to defend.
It was Pollard’s third one-day international century and his second against Australia, and he had to curb his usual aggressive batting style as the West Indies threatened to repeat their total of 70 in the first match of the series in Perth.
Mitchell Johnson ripped into the West Indies top order, removing Johnson Charles (0) Kieran Powell (9) and Darren Bravo (4) to have the tourists wobbling at 17-3.
Bravo’s brother, Dwayne, lasted eight balls for his 3, before he was given out leg before wicket to Maxwell on review.
Narsingh Deonarine, in for the injured Chris Gayle, got a thick edge off Ben Cutting to Aaron Finch at second slip for 10.
Wicketkeeper Devon Thomas went for 7 after a long review concluded that the ball carried to Finch at slip for Cutting’s second wicket.
Andre Russell put on 35 runs with Pollard for the eighth wicket, before he holed out to Maxwell at long-off off James Faulkner for 18 off 17 balls.
Sunil Narine joined in the best partnership of the innings of 64, before he was caught behind off Clint McKay for 23.
Best was run out for 1 in a mix-up with Pollard in the final over.
Johnson finished with three for 36 off his 10 overs, while Cutting captured three for 45 off 10.
Finch made 25 before he was dismissed in the 10th over of the Australia innings leg before wicket to spinner Narine.
Watson and Phillip Hughes put on 62 for the second wicket, before Hughes was caught at slip off the back of his glove for 23 as he tried to lap-sweep Narine.
Watson had a bit of luck along the way when he was dropped on 32 by wicketkeeper Thomas and Narine botched a run out with the Australia opener well out of his ground when he was on 51.
He was finally out when he could not get out of the way of a rearing Best delivery and was caught behind.
Adam Voges, in the team for the injured George Bailey, made 28 off 39 balls, before he holed out to Darren Sammy off Russell and Clarke was the last man out with the scores tied.
Best finished with two for 38 and Narine two for 34.