Australia romped to an eight-wicket victory over West Indies in the first Twenty20 cricket international, led by allrounder Shane Watson slamming 69 off 43 balls and taking 1-16 from four overs.
Watson lashed five boundaries and six sixes at Beausejour Stadium to guide Australia to 153-2 from 18.1 overs after West Indies had been restricted to 150-7. Michael Hussey contributed an unbeaten 59 off 45 deliveries, adding 107 runs with Watson after David Warner went for a duck on the fifth ball of the innings with Australia yet to score. Shane Watson slammed 69 of 43 balls. Pic/AFP
Earlier, Kieron Pollard cracked five sixes and two fours in an undefeated 54 off 39 balls. Watson's misersly spell with the ball backed up the good work from Daniel Christian (3-27) and Brett Lee (2-30). The second and final match in the series is in Barbados on Friday. Australia's pursuit made a horrid start when Warner was bowled playing across the line when facing Krishmar Santokie. But Watson, Australia's one-day international captain, quickly put the pressure back on West Indies with some superb strokes all around the ground. He raced to 50 off 38 balls to silence a big crowd of close to 11,000 people.Hussey played the anchor role, only flourishing after Watson fell to ensure West Indies didn't gain any momentum. He reached his 50 off 40 deliveries, and finished with four fours and two sixes. Captain George Bailey struck the winning runs, helping himself to an unbeaten 21 off 17 balls. In West Indies' innings, Pollard's big hitting lifted what looked like being a pedestrian total to respectability. His 50 came off only 20 deliveries and he shared a partnership of 62 off 29 balls with Dwayne Bravo, who contributed 14.Johnson Charles and Nkrumah Bonner had earlier both scored 24. West Indies' innings had been stuttering at 72-4 in the 13th over. Lee removed Dwayne Smith for 10 and Watson added the scalp of Charles to stall the hosts. Smith edged to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and Charles was plumb leg before playing across the line. Christian added to the pressure with the wickets of Bonner and Darren Bravo. Bonner tried to up the tempo and was bowled, while Bravo, in a slump, miscued a pull to deep midwicket. Pollard's late hitting ensured he beat the previous record for the fastest 50 by a West Indian of 23 balls, set by Chris Gayle. West Indies Johnson Charles lbw b Watson 24Dwayne Smith c Wade b Lee 10 Nkrumah Bonner b Christian 24 Darren Bravo c Pattinson b Christian 12 Kieron Pollard not out 54 Dwayne Bravo c David Hussey b Christian 14 Darren Sammy c David Hussey b Lee 7 Carlton Baugh run out (Watson) 1 Garey Mathurin not out 1 Extras: (LB-1, W-2) 3 TOTAL: (For seven wickets in 20 overs) 150 Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-38, 3-66, 4-72, 5-134, 6-144, 7-148. Bowling: Brett Lee 4-0-30-2, James Pattinson 3-0-21-0, Clint McKay 3-0-21-0, Shane Watson 4-0-16-1, Xavier Doherty 3-0-34-0, Daniel Christian 3-0-27-3. Australia David Warner b Santokie 0 Shane Watson c Pollard b Mathurin 69 Michael Hussey not out 59 George Bailey not out 21 Extras: (LB-1, W-2, NB-1) 4 TOTAL: (For two wickets in 18.1 overs) 153 Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-108. Bowling: Krishmar Santokie 3-0-27-1, Garey Mathurin 4-0-33-1, Sunil Narine 4-0-21-0, Darren Sammy 2.1-0-22-0, Dwayne Bravo 3-0-21-0, Kieron Pollard 1-0-16-0, Dwayne Smith 1-0-12-0.