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IPL Desk in Mumbai 24 March 2012 - 10:25am IST

Pollard ton gives WI 2-1 lead

Lee posts best ODI score as Aus lose by 42 runs

Kieron Pollard scored a sizzling 70-ball 102 and took one for 16 as West Indies took a 2-1 lead against Australia in the five-match series being played between the two sides. Pollard’s century, the second of his 55-match ODI career, took West Indies to 294 for seven, after which the hosts successfully bowled Australia out for 252, earning a 42-run win.

West Indies got off to a good start after Australia captain Shane Watson won the toss and opted to put bowl. Openers Johnson Charles and Adrian Barath struck a 56-run opening stand in 10 overs that gave the hosts the ideal platform from where they could build a competitive innings total. The Australian bowlers, however, reduced the hosts to 146 for five to negate the good work done by the West Indies openers early on.

It was at this stage that Pollard took charge. The burly Mumbai Indians all-rounder struck a 94-run stand with Delhi Daredevils’ Andre Sammy in just 10.4 overs that took West Indies from 146 for five to 240 for six in just 10.4 overs. Russell made 34 off 32 balls before he was removed by Rajasthan Royals star player Shane Watson in the 47th over.

Pollard, meanwhile, continued unfettered. He smashed three sixes after Sammy’s exit to bring up his first ODI hundred in the West Indies. Pollard hit eight sixes in all in his knock of 102. Australia finally saw the back of the MI sensation in the 50th over when Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brett Lee had Pollard caught by Michael Hussey. Nevertheless, Darren Sammy’s 13-ball 31* blitz pushed the hosts score up to 294 for seven in 50 overs.

The Australian top-order were perhaps too deflated by Pollard’s innings to make a serious attempt at the run chase. The visitors lost half their top-order for 112 in 20.3 overs and had it not been for half-centuries from Kings XI Punjab’s David Hussey (57) and Brett Lee (48-ball 59), they wouldn’t have made it anywhere near their final score of 254 all out. Lee’s innings improved upon his previous best ODI score of 57.
For West Indies, Russell and Chennai Super Kings Dwayne Bravo finished with two wickets each while Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy also split four wickets between themselves.

The win means that West Indies cannot lose the series as the third ODI between the two sides was tied. The fifth and final match will be played on March 25.

Brief scores: West Indies 294/7 in 50.0 overs (Kieron Pollard 102, Andre Russell 34, Shane Watson 2/55) beat Australia 252/10 in 46.3 overs (Brett Lee 59, David Hussey 57, Andre Russell 2/34) by 42 runs

Man-of-the-match: Kieron Pollard for his all-round performance; 70-ball 102 and 2-0-16-1

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