Australia maraud West Indies for record total

Published: Monday, July 7, 2008, 0:19 [IST]
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Australia's batsmen mauled West Indies' bowling to set the home team 342 for victory in the fifth and final One-day International on Sunday.

Australia, choosing to bat on a hard, easy-paced Warner Park pitch, amassed 341 for eight from their allocation of 50 overs - a record total against West Indies in a ODI - as four of their batsmen passed 50.

Andrew Symonds top-scored with 66 from 80 balls, Luke Ronchi made a rapid-fire 64 from 28 balls, David Hussey led a flourish with 52 from 21 balls, and Mike Hussey gathered 51 from 52 balls.

Ramnaresh Sarwan took three wickets for 57 runs from nine overs, and Fidel Edwards captured three for 86 from nine overs to be the most successful bowlers for West Indies

The runs Edwards conceded were the most by a West Indies bowler in an ODI, three more than the 83 Corey Collymore gave away from his 10 overs against South Africa four years ago at Johannesburg.

Symonds, Ronchi, and the two Husseys built on the platform provided by openers Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson.

They put on 70 before Watson was caught at third man for 29 off Dwayne Bravo in the 13th over, and Marsh was caught behind off Edwards for 49 in the 20th over to leave Australia 129 for two.

Ronchi, promoted to No.3, showed his enterprise, when he equalled the record for the second fastest 50 in an ODI by an Australian.

He drove his 22nd delivery from Edwards "inside-out" through extra cover for his fourth four to reach the milestone in the 20th over.

But he was caught behind, when he was caught behind off the first ball from left-arm spin bowler Nikita Miller in the 22nd over before Sarwan also had stand-in Australia captain Michael Clarke caught behind for five in the next over to leave the visitors on 152 for four.

Symonds entered and batted with typical aplomb alongside Mike Hussey and they put Australia firmly on course for their massive total, when they added 113 for the fifth wicket. Symonds top-edged a pull to mid-wicket for a single to reach his 50 off Edwards in the 42nd over before he was caught behind off the same bowler in the 44th over.

Hussey proceeded to reach his 50 in the next over, when he drove Bravo to long-off for a single, but Edwards got him off the last ball of the following over, when he was caught at long-on.

In the closing overs, David Hussey, Mike's brother, created a stir with his audacious batting, striking four fours and four sixes to reset the record for the second fastest 50 in an ODI by an Australia which Ronchi had earlier established.

He reached his 50, when he lofted Sarwan for the last of his sixes over long-on, but two balls later, he was caught at deep mid-wicket off the same bowler before James Hopes was caught at mid-on off the same bowler off the last ball of the innings.

Australia are unchanged, but West Indies have made one change to their line-up. They dropped Darren Sammy, and brought in Andre Fletcher.

Australia lead the five-match series 4-0, after winning the opening match by 84 runs in St. Vincent, the rain-affected second ODI by 63 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method, the third ODI last Sunday by seven wickets, and the fourth ODI last Friday by one run.

South Africa and Pakistan are the only sides that have achieved ODI series sweeps in the Caribbean.

They both accomplished the feat three years ago, when the Proteas won all five of their matches in a bilateral series, and the Pakistanis won all three in theirs.

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