Watson and Hussey undermine Pollard
Shane Watson and Mike Hussey guided Australia to an eight-wicket victory over West Indies in St Lucia despite a valiant knock by Kieron Pollard in the first of two Twenty20 internationals.
Watson hit six sixes in his 69 and Hussey was unbeaten on 59 when Australia passed their target of 151 with 11 balls to spare. The pair had shared a stand of 108 before George Bailey helped see out the match with 21 not out.
It was tough on Pollard, who hit West Indies’ fastest T20 fifty - from 20 balls - in their 150 for seven. His 54 occupied 26 deliveries and included five maximums and two fours.
Besides Pollard, Johnson Charles and Nkrumah Bonner both made 24 for the Windies and Dan Christian finished with 3-27.
After the hosts won the toss, Dwayne Smith twice found the rope before edging Brett Lee behind. Fellow opener Charles struck three consecutive fours off Lee, but was lbw to Watson.
New batsman Darren Bravo cover-drove the next ball for four and, after a tentative start, Bonner picked up two fours off McKay. However, West Indies had only 63 after 10 overs.
Bravo holed out to deep midwicket off Christian, who bowled Bonner in his next over to leave the hosts 72 for four.
Pollard then took over. Having taken nine balls over his first 14 runs, the right-hander flayed 21 from one Xavier Doherty over and smashed consecutive sixes off Christian in the next.
Christian did have Dwayne Bravo taken at long-off before Pollard went to his half-century with two singles off Watson.
Darren Sammy fell to Lee in similar fashion to Dwayne Bravo, and Carlton Baugh was run out in the last over as Pollard failed to kick on from his landmark.
West Indies broke through before Australia had scored when Krishmar Santokie bowled David Warner through the gate.
Watson and Hussey responded, the former on two occasions striking Santokie for six twice in three deliveries.
The hosts were desperate for a breakthrough, but Hussey upped the ante with six and four from consecutive Sammy balls.
Watson brought up a 38-ball fifty with the first of two back-to-back fours off Pollard, which he followed two balls later with a maximum over midwicket.
With Australia into three figures, Watson launched a similar six off Garey Mathurin but could not repeat the shot next ball and was caught in the deep.
It mattered little as Hussey produced a straight six off Dwayne Bravo before he and Bailey picked up two fours, the last of which completed victory.
The sides meet again on Friday in Barbados.