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Watson, Faulkner give Aus 3-0 lead

Watson, Faulkner give Aus 3-0 lead

Shane Watson scored a hundred, after which Faulkner's four wickets restricted West Indies' spirited chase to 290.

Canberra: Shane Watson returned from injury with a fluent century to help Australia win the third limited-overs international against West Indies by 39 runs and clinch the series on Wednesday. Australia have an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

After a month out with a calf muscle problem, Watson belted 122 from 111 balls as Australia posted 329-7. West Indies were bowled out for 290 in reply in the 48th over, with Australia left-arm paceman James Faulkner returning 4-48 including the key wickets of Darren Bravo (86) and Chris Gayle (2) in the 38th.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat, casting vice-captain Watson straight into work amid speculation over his status as a specialist batsman after his decision to stop bowling for the near future. He shared partnerships of 89 with opener Aaron Finch (38) and 112 with No. 3 Phil Hughes (86) before mistiming a hook shot off Kemar Roach and being caught on the deep backward square boundary by Kieron Pollard, who also took two stunning outfield catches to help restrict Australia's late surge.

"It's nice to get out there," said Watson, who stroked a dozen boundaries and two sixes in his seventh ODI hundred. "I've been looking forward to that for the last four weeks. "I'm just so excited to be back playing. Certainly (been) missing it." Hughes started slowly and had a reprieve on 6, after facing 26 balls, when he edged Sunil Narine just past slip.

But he ended up with 10 boundaries and a six in his 93-ball knock before he was caught behind off Darren Sammy's bowling.

Allrounder Glenn Maxwell (4) was chasing quick runs when he hit a flat slog sweep that seemed destined to carry over the deep square boundary before Pollard leaped high and stretched to grab a superb one-handed catch inches inside the rope. George Bailey belted 44 from 22 balls before he pulled a Narine ball to deep mid-wicket, where Pollard took another spectacular catch on the boundary.

West Indies started aggressively, with the opening pair putting on 54 before Clint McKay had Devon Thomas (19) caught at cover by Hughes in the ninth over. Kieran Powell scored 47 from 49 balls and was batting comfortably before he top-edged an attempted sweep off Maxwell and lobbed a legside catch to wicketkeeper Matt Wade, making the score 81-2.

Darren and Dwayne Bravo (51 from 50 balls) combined in a 114-run stand to keep West Indies on track until Starc made the breakthrough that swung the match back in Australia's favor. He bowled Dwayne Bravo to trigger the late slide, with West Indies losing its last eight wickets for 95 runs. The fourth game is on Friday in Sydney.