Australia continues triumphant march

CASTRIES (St. Lucia) May 22. Australia coasted to a 25-run win over West Indies in the third one-day International to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

West Indies scored 233 for nine from 50 overs in reply to Australia's total of 258 for four on Wednesday. It was the world champion's 20th consecutive victory in one-day Internationals.

Nathan Hauritz struck early by dismissing Ramnaresh Sarwan (15) and Chris Gayle (43) in quick succession.

It was a welcome return for the man who has remained on the sidelines of the Australia team since taking four wickets against Kenya in September 2002.

West Indies' collapse was more a story of rash shot selection than a particularly impressive bowling performance on the part of the visitor.

The home team lost three early wickets as its openers threw caution to the wind in their haste to make runs.

Devon Smith (9) was caught behind off Glenn McGrath to put West Indies at 20 for one before Chris Gayle delighted the crowd with five fours and one six over the midwicket boundary.

Sarwan tried to follow suit but lofted a harmless-looking Hauritz delivery to deep extra cover and was caught by Jason Gillespie.

Gayle gifted his wicket when he swung at a wide delivery off Hauritz and it was no surprise that Michael Clarke caught him in the covers.

Fast bowler Andy Bichel removed Brian Lara (4) for the ninth time since the Australians arrived in the Caribbean in April as West Indies' captain dragged an excellent delivery on to his stumps.

Wavell Hinds and Marlon Samuels provided a semblance of a fight with a 65-run fifth-wicket stand. The partnership ended when Samuels ignored the call of striker Hinds (42) and gifted Michael Bevan the run out.

Ricardo Powell arrived at the crease and hit 26 runs off 11 balls, including two mighty sixes, before firing a Gillespie delivery for Clarke to take a difficult low catch.

Samuels fell to the same Gillespie-Clarke combination from the very next ball for 37. Carlton Baugh struck a gutsy 24 not out, including a six over the covers in the 47th over, but the target drifted out of sight.

Earlier, Andrew Symonds and Clarke had earlier hit 75 runs each to help Australia to an innings total of 258 for four. They forged a resilient 99-run fourth-wicket partnership.


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