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  • Australia v West Indies, 5th ODI, Melbourne

Voges ton sets up Australia clean-sweep

The Report by Brydon Coverdale at the MCG
February 10, 2013
Australia 274 for 5 (Voges 112*) beat West Indies 257 (Charles 100, Johnson 3-50, McKay 3-52) by 17 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Adam Voges celebrates his maiden hundred © Getty Images
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Johnson Charles was seven years old last time West Indies beat Australia in an ODI in Australia.

For much of the second half of this game, it appeared that Charles was going to ride his luck and steer West Indies to victory but not even his maiden century could end 16 years of Australian dominance at home. Under the captaincy of Shane Watson and without several of their best players, Australia completed a 5-0 clean-sweep thanks largely to Adam Voges and his first international hundred.

Voges scored an unbeaten 112 that rescued Australia from a shaky start after they were sent in by Darren Sammy and they were able to post 274 for 5, a very competitive total given the absence of the injured Michael Clarke, David Warner and George Bailey, as well as Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell, who have already flown to India for the Test series. In reply, West Indies had their ups and downs but with Charles and Kieron Pollard at the crease they remained firmly in the contest.

Even after Charles' fortune ran out, Pollard and Devon Thomas managed a couple of thumping sixes and brought the equation to a very gettable 48 off six overs, but somehow they just couldn't quite find the intensity to bridge the gap. Thomas was run out for 19, Pollard drove a catch down the throat of long-on for 45 and their hopes fizzled out. By the end 24 were needed off the final over bowled by McKay and West Indies lost their final two wickets.

It meant that Australia extended their record to 17 consecutive victories over West Indies in Australia. Last time West Indies won an ODI against Australia in Australia was in January 1997, when a team led by Courtney Walsh beat Mark Taylor's men in Perth. They began their chase hoping to end that drought but the loss of Kieran Powell, caught at slip off Mitchell Johnson in the second over, was not ideal.

Charles and Darren Bravo put together a 106-run second-wicket stand before Bravo sent a Xavier Doherty ball in the air to mid-off, and Dwayne Bravo followed for 13 when he was bowled by Johnson. That brought Charles and Pollard together.

Charles played some impressive strokes on his way to a century, including a six crunched over long-on against Ben Cutting and a four slashed behind point off the next ball. Those shots came in the same over that Charles survived a caught-behind appeal on 55 when an attempted pull bounced off his arm; Australia's review of the not-out call resulted in a difficult Hot Spot call and in the end the third umpire Nigel Llong felt unsure if the ball had grazed the edge of the bat before hitting Charles.

That over was a microcosm of the way Charles played in this innings: risk and reward. He was dropped twice, at slip by Aaron Finch off McKay on 7, and on 77 at deep cover by the substitute fielder Ryan Carters off James Faulkner. Another perilously close call came next ball on 79 when Charles was given lbw and asked for a review. The ball clearly came off the bat onto the back pad, but it may also have brushed the front pad before the bat. Again, Charles was given the benefit of the doubt.

He made the most of his opportunities, finding the boundary eight times including a dab past the wicketkeeper off McKay to bring up his century from his 120th delivery. Remarkably, it was his first hundred in any form of elite cricket, including first-class, List A and Twenty20. Perhaps the moment got to him, for he was out next ball when he lazily tried to swivel McKay around the corner and lobbed a catch to short fine leg.

The Australians had done well to ensure such a healthy target after Tino Best rattled them with two wickets in the first three overs of the game. That included dismissing Watson on the first delivery of the game with a short ball. Later, the Australians were wobbling at 4 for 82 but a century partnership between Voges and Brad Haddin launched the recovery before Faulkner joined Voges for some quick late runs. Voges finished unbeaten on 112 and Faulkner on 31 and during their partnership the wheels really fell off for West Indies, who leaked 100 runs in the final ten overs.

Singles and twos were far too easy and Voges was also finding the boundary, including with a crunching six over long-on against Best in the 50th over. Voges had brought up his ton from his 97th delivery with a hastily-run two and he celebrated like a man who thought the moment would never come. That would be understandable, for Voges made his one-day international debut nearly six years ago and since then has been almost permanently on the fringes of the national side, playing 17 ODIs but never more than three in a row.

Like Charles would later, he made the opposition pay for giving him a life on 7 when he was put down at slip by Sammy off the spin of Sunil Narine. His half-century came from 64 balls and he had good support from Haddin during a 111-run fifth-wicket stand that prevented West Indies capitalising on their impressive start. Eventually Haddin was caught at deep midwicket top-edging a swivelled pull off Kemar Roach but by then Australia were well set.

Australia had been in early trouble due to a couple of fine catches which accounted for Phillip Hughes and Shaun Marsh. If only West Indies' sharp catching had extended to Sammy holding Voges on 7, a 16-year drought might have been broken.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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