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Windies chase rare series win over Aus

Cricketnext.com
Mar 24, 2012 at 02:04pm IST

St Lucia: Blown away by the Kieron Pollard storm on Friday, Australia will take on West Indies in the fifth and final one-dayer (ODI), at the Beausejour Stadium on Sunday.

Pollard flogged eight sixes and five fours in his 70-ball 102 to give the home side a 2-1 series lead on Friday. After a disappointing batting performance in the first ODI at Kingston, where they could not chase a moderate target of 205, West Indies have shown an all-round improvement in the following matches. Although Kemar Roach and Dwayne Bravo were taken to the cleaners in the fourth game, their bowling, generally has been good, with offspinner Sunil Narine the pick of their bowlers, taking nine wickets in the series.

His low-trajectory offspin has helped West Indies chocking the flow of runs in the middle overs, and has also given skipper Darren Sammy a genuine wicket-taking option. Roach, despite facing the ire from Brett Lee, who slammed 24 runs in one over after getting a beamer from the bowler, has also taken eight wickets, the second highest for West Indies, after four matches.

Windies chase rare series win over Australia

West Indies lead the five-match series 2-1, with the final match to be played on Sunday.

Adrian Barath, in his comeback match, also gave the side a flying start, scoring 41 off 31. His opening partner Johnson Charles was rather subdued in his 62-ball 37, but his straight six off Clint McKay could be a glimpse of his ability to hit long.

West Indies would be worried with the form of Marlon Samuels. And more than his tally of 68 runs in four matches, it's his strike rate, 43.58, which is more of a concern. The lower middle order comprising Pollard, Andre Russell and Darren Sammy, has done well, especially in the latter overs. Despite being restricted in the middle overs, the trio, with their power hitting, ensured that West Indies reached a daunting total in the fourth match.

The Pollard show stunned Australia and they need some inspiration before the final game. Their top order hasn't been amongst the runs, with neither David Warner, Shane Watson and Peter Forrest accumulating even 100 run so far in the series. Whether they bring Matthew Wade, the wicketkeeper-batsman, up in the order or include Daniel Christian in place of Forrest to give stability to the side will be a something to watch out for.

Xavier Doherty, though, has got some stick from Pollard, has been Australia's best bowler on the tour so far, picking up nine wickets in four outings. Watson, who himself has taken six wickets, will need more options on a batting-friendly track at Gros Islet and, the inclusion of Christian could well provide him one.

The inclement weather in St Lucia could affect Australia's chances of levelling the series, with rain expected to play spoilsport in Sunday's game.

Probable XIs

West Indies: 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Adrian Barath, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Darren Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Carlton Baugh (wk), 9 Darren Sammy (capt), 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach

Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson (capt), 3 Matthew Wade (wk), 4 Peter Forrest/Daniel Christian, 5 George Bailey, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 David Hussey, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Clint McKay, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus

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