Aussies chase 224 in third one-dayer against Windies

Published: Monday, June 30, 2008, 0:32 [IST]
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Australia are chasing 224 to win the third one-day international against the West Indies here on Sunday which would put them 3-0 up in the five-match series.

The Aussies, who won the toss and decided to field, bowled with typical purpose and dismissed West Indies for 223 in 48 overs at the Queen's Park Stadium.

West Indies captain Chris Gayle hit five fours and three sixes in the top score of 53 from 54 balls, but several other batsmen were guilty of getting starts without carrying on.

Xavier Marshall made 35, Shivnarien Chanderpaul got 32, Ramnaresh Sarwan gathered 31, and Denesh Ramdin contributed 21.

Nathan Bracken was again Australia's most successful bowler with three wickets for 26 runs from nine overs, and Andrew Symonds captured two for 42 from seven overs.

Australia's bowlers brought their side back into the match, after Gayle and Marshall put on 86 for the first wicket.

The Australians had kept things tight early on, but Gayle and compatriot Marshall steadily grew in confidence, and the runs started to flow.

Gayle reached his 50 in the 17th over in spectacular fashion. He drove the penultimate ball of Andrew Symonds' first over for a straight four, and then lofted the next ball over long-off for his third six about 12 rows back in the lower deck of the grand stand at the River End of the ground.

In the next over, Mitchell Johnson fortuitously ran Gayle out when Marshall drove straight, the bowler stuck out his left-hand, and the ball ricocheted from it on to the stumps at the non-striker's end with the batsman failing to regain his ground.

Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi then held a fine catch diving to his right to dismiss Marshall off Shane Watson for 35 in the 21st over to leave West Indies 99 for two.

But the Aussies met two familiar stumbling blocks in Sarwan and Chanderpaul. The experienced pair added a valuable 61 for the third wicket to stabilise the innings, but their dismissals within four overs of each other left West Indies 168 for four.

Michael Clarke had Chanderpaul caught behind top-edging a loose cut in the 33rd over, and in the 37th over, Mitchell Johnson had Sarwan caught at short extra cover, but the rest of the batting offered little or no resistance to the Aussie bowlers.

Australia lead the series 2-0, after winning the opening match by 84 runs last Tuesday at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex, and the second ODI by 63 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method last Friday at this venue.

The last two ODIs of the series will be contested on July 4 and 6 at Warner Park in the St. Kitts capital of Basseterre.

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