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Australia beats West Indies by four wickets in warm-up game

Shane Watson stars in Australia's win with a 98-ball 135

Australia beats West Indies by four wickets in warm-up game - Cricket News
Australia's Shane Watson sends the ball into the crowd.
Shane Watson’s blistering 135 off 98 balls led Australia to a comfortable four-wicket win over the West Indies in its ICC Champions Trophy 2013 warm-up fixture in Cardiff on Saturday (June 1).  

Chasing 257, Watson, unfazed by the loss of wickets at the other end, hit 14 boundaries and four sixes along the way.  

Earlier, Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies captain, won the toss and elected to bat.  

West Indies got off to a flying start as Johnson Charles, the opener, scored a brisk half-century laced with ten boundaries. But it was Darren Bravo’s quickfire 86 that formed the cornerstone of West Indies’ innings and helped it post 256 for 9.   

After the early loss of Devon Smith, the opener, Charles and Darren Bravo added 65 runs for the second wicket before Clint McKay trapped Charles lbw.   

Post Ramnaresh Sarwan’s dismissal, Darren Bravo and Dwayne Bravo steadied the innings with a stand of 53 runs. But McKay broke the threatening partnership as Mitchell Starc dug into the lower order.  

Starc was the pick among the Australian bowlers as he bagged four wickets at an economy rate of 4.14. McKay returned figures of 3 for 45.  

In reply, Australia rode on the 125-run fourth-wicket stand between Watson and Adam Voges. Voges, who had an impressive finish to the Australian summer coupled with an unbeaten century against West Indies in the fifth ODI at the MCG in February, played second fiddle to Watson after the early loss of wickets.  

Tino Best finally brought an end to Watson’s blitz in the 30th over, with Australia 60 runs short of the target. Voges, who played a measured innings to start with failed to set himself free and soon fell to Best. Cameos from Mitchell Marsh (39 off 19 balls) and Matthew Wade (15 off 22 ball ) then took Australia home in the 38th over.  

Australia plays its second and final warm-up game against India at the same venue on June 4 before taking on England in Birmingham on June 8 in a league stage encounter.

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