Australia take ICC title

Australia

Nathan Bracken is mobbed by his team-mates © Getty Images

Australia claimed their first ICC Champions Trophy title after stealing West Indies' crown in a convincing, rain-affected victory at the Brabourne Stadium.

Ricky Ponting's men were intent on adding their missing piece of silverware, having failed in four previous Trophy campaigns, and a clinical bowling display set them up.

They sliced through West Indies' batting to set up a 139-run chase, which was reduced to 116 from 35 overs after a two-hour stoppage for the wet weather.

So dominant were the world champion Aussies that the tournament showpiece turned into a damp squib long before Shane Watson and Damien Martyn eased their side home by eight wickets.

Even when Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting were sent back before the interval at 13 for two - to spark great excitement in a vociferous crowd - it was not enough to threaten a shock.

Yet the holders began the contest, after Brian Lara won the toss, in explosive manner.

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle © Getty Images

Openers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle battered the attack for 49 runs in the first five overs only for Australia to hit back with a vengeance.

So decisive was their performance that more than 19 overs were left unused when West Indies were bundled out for 138.

Three wickets from left-armer Nathan Bracken and two from veteran Glenn McGrath, including the prize scalp of Brian Lara, swung the contest firmly back in favour of the world champions.

West Indies lost half their side for 103 by the end of the power play periods.

They did not recover as only Dwayne Bravo, Gayle and Chanderpaul reached double figures.

But they had set off in a hurry, with Chanderpaul the early aggressor. It was Brett Lee who suffered most in a boundary-laden spell of 3-0-36-0.

Things might have been different as McGrath totally misjudged a catch at third man off a spiralling edge from Chanderpaul's bat, running in in anticipation only for the ball to fly over his head and land the other side of the rope.

Luck evened itself up, however, when an inside edge in the sixth over cannoned the ball into the stumps to provide Bracken with an initial breakthrough.

Gayle, the player of the tournament to date, was unperturbed by losing his partner, however, as he greeted McGrath's introduction to the attack with a savage assault.

Twice he lofted for sixes in the 36-year-old's initial two overs, which cost 22 runs, climbing into a full delivery and then clearing the ropes again with a vicious pull.

McGrath's response was emphatic and when he was withdrawn from the attack his figures had been repaired to 7-3-24-2.

Bracken claimed the first three to fall as Ramnaresh Sarwan looped a leading edge to mid-on and a perfect outswinger defeated Gayle to hit off-stump.

Lara and Runako Morton, whose partnership in the Group A contest between the teams was integral to the 10-run victory here, were then sent back as McGrath found enough movement to locate the edge of their bats.

All-rounder Watson's golden arm then put any chance of a fightback beyond West Indies.

An astute piece of captaincy resulted in Marlon Samuels flicking straight into the trap specifically set at mid-wicket and Carlton Baugh was pinned in front of the stumps by one which jagged back.

When spinner Brad Hogg, recalled in place of Mitchell Johnson, outfoxed Bravo with the very next delivery, the West Indians were 125 for eight.

Brett Lee

Brett Lee © Getty Images

Australia went for the kill by reintroducing Lee's pace and, although he had Ian Bradshaw put down by wicket-keeper Gilchrist, he did not take long to atone with a full delivery which struck the base of the stumps.

The bails were dislodged for a final time in Lee's next over as a superb piece of fielding from Andrew Symonds accounted for last man Corey Collymore with a direct hit as Jerome Taylor attempted to sneak a single.

Lara's penchant for the unconventional saw off-spinner Gayle open the bowling but it was an experiment which lasted only one over and the introduction of Bradshaw provided the breakthrough they required to stand a chance.

Gilchrist was drawn to one outside off-stump and Gayle clutched the ball to his chest at slip.

Just as in the previous meeting between the two on this ground, fast bowler Taylor sent Ponting back cheaply when he won an lbw shout in the very next over.

The third-wicket duo of Watson and Martyn settled things by taking the score to 45 for two at the break and continued the canter on resumption at 9pm local time.

Watson struck his fifth one-day international 50 while Martyn finished two runs shy of his own landmark.