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IPL desk in Mumbai 28 March 2012 - 01:41pm IST

Watson, Hussey star in Aus win

Christian picks up three as visitors win 1st T20I

Shane Watson and Michael Hussey starred in a 108-run stand as Australia comfortably beat West Indies by eight wickets in the first T20I of the two-match series being played between the two sides. Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, the hosts managed to get to a score of 150 thanks to Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard’s blustery half-century. Pollard, who recently won the Player-of-the-series award in the five-match ODI contest between the two sides, came into bat with the score at 66 for three in the 11th over but only managed to score his first run in the 13th over of the innings.

Then, with West Indies losing their fourth wicket off the first ball of the 13th over at 72 for four, Pollard helped the hosts score 78 off the last 7.5 overs as he smashed a 26-ball 54* that included five sixes. Deccan Chargers’ Daniel Christian took three for 27 while Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brett Lee finished with two for 30 as Australia managed to restrict the West Indies to 150 despite the Pollard onslaught.

The visitors lost Delhi Daredevils’ David Warner (0) in the very first over of their run chase. However, Rajasthan Royals’ Shane Watson and Chennai Super Kings’ Mike Hussey struck their seventh and third half-centuries in T20I cricket respectively to build a solid platform for the visitors. Watson (43-ball 69) was eventually dismissed in the 13th over, but with Hussey remaining unbeaten on 59* (off 45 balls) and CSK’s George Bailey (17-ball 21*) also contributing, Australia cruised home with 11 deliveries to spare.

The second T20I between the two sides will be played on March 30 at Bridgetown.

Brief scores: Australia 153/2 in 18.1 overs (Shane Watson 69, Mike Hussey 59*, Krishmar Santokie 1/27) beat West Indies 150/7 in 20.0 overs (Kieron Pollard 54*, Daniel Christian 3/27, Brett Lee 2/30) by eight wickets

Man-of-the-match: Shane Watson for his allround performance; 4-0-16-1 and 43-ball 69

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