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IPL desk in Mumbai 26 March 2012 - 11:59am IST

RR’s Watson helps Aus level series

MI’s Pollard adjudged Player-of-the-Series

Shane Watson struck his 27th ODI half-century and finished with bowling figures of 10-0-44-2 as Australia drew the five-match ODI series against West Indies 2-2. As the third ODI between the two sides was tied, the visitor’s 30-run win against the hosts in the final ODI meant that West Indies were denied the opportunity of registering a rare ODI-series win against Australia.

Australia dominated the final ODI right from the time opposition captain Darren Sammy asked them to bat first after winning the toss. David Warner and Watson got Australia off to a flier as the pair brought up the first 100 runs for their team in just 18 overs. Delhi Daredevils’ Warner struck 69 in his 61-ball knock before falling to Sunil Narine in the 20th over. Nevertheless, half-centuries from Watson (66) and No. 3 batsman Peter Forrest (53) consolidated the visitors’ position.

West Indies, though, did manage to prevent Australia from getting to 300 despite the solid start. DD paceman Andre Russell took four for 61 as Australia slumped from four for 241 to 281 for nine at the end of their 50 overs.

Needing 282 to win, West Indies were put on the defensive as Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brett Lee’s two wickets in his first two overs reduced the hosts to five for two. Mumbai Indians’ Clint McKay and Watson then ripped through the hosts’ middle-order to leave them reeling at 118 for seven in 31.1 overs.

Darren Sammy struck a feisty 50-ball 84 (6x4, 6x6) in a spirited 101-run stand with Andre Russell (33-ball 41), but with the batsmen eventually falling to Xavier Doherty and Ben Hilfenhaus respectively, the hosts were bowled out for 251 in 47.2 overs.

While West Indies would have been disappointed with the drawn series result, consolation came by way of Kieron Pollard being adjudged the Player-of-the-Series. The blustery Mumbai Indians all-rounder was the pick of the batsmen in this series with 222 runs from five innings at an average of 55.50.

Brief scores: Australia 281/9 in 50.0 overs (David Warner 69, Shane Watson 66, Andre Russell 4/61, Kemar Roach 3/53) beat West Indies 251/10 in 47.2 overs (Darren Sammy 84, Andre Russell 41, Brett Lee 3/42, Shane Watson 2/44) by 30 runs

Man-of-the-match: Shane Watson for his all-round performance; 89-ball 66 and bowling figures of 10-0-44-2

Man-of-the-series: Kieron Pollard for his 222 runs from five innings at an average of 55.50

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