CARDIFF- Shane Watson blasted a brilliant century as Australia started their preparations for the Champions Trophy with a four-wicket victory over the West Indies in Cardiff on Saturday. Michael Clarke's team were set 257 to win after Darren Bravo's 86 helped the West Indies post a respectable 256-9 in their 50 overs.

Initially it seemed that total may be beyond them as David Warner and Phillip Hughes were quickly dismissed to leave the Australians struggling at 4-2. But opener Watson snatched the momentum back from the West Indies with a superb innings of 135 in just 98 balls as he peppered the boundary with 15 fours and four sixes. Watson's flamboyant display put Australia firmly on course for victory, with Adam Voges (43) and Mitchell Marsh, who smashed eight fours in his 19-ball 39 not out ensuring there would be no late revival from the Windies. Australia, who are in Champions Trophy Group A along with England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, play their second warm-up fixture against India in Cardiff on Tuesday.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the West Indies lost opener Devon Smith for just seven when he was caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off the bowling of Mitchell Starc. However, Australia failed to take advantage of that early breakthrough and Bravo combined with Johnson Charles (55) to give the Windies renewed hope.

They put on 65 for the second wicket before Charles fell lbw to Clint Mckay. Bravo kept the Windies in the hunt, while Mckay finished with figures of 3-45 from 10 overs and Starc took 4-29 off seven overs.

Kemar Roach threatened to derail Australia's chase when he had both Warner and Hughes caught by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. But Watson's majestic performance and the support of Voges and Marsh saw Australia canter to the finish line with 67 balls to spare.



D Smith c Wade b Starc    7

J Charles lbw b McKay    55

DM Bravo b McKay    86

R Sarwan b Watson    22

DJ Bravo c Wade b McKay    20

D Ramdin c D Warner b Starc    25

D Sammy run out    14

J Holder c Faulkner b Starc    4

S Narine b Starc    3

K Roach not out    7

T Best not out    3

EXTRAS: (lb6, w3, nb1)    10

TOTAL: (9 wkts; 50 overs)    256

FOW: 1-28, 2-92, 3-142, 4-195, 5-200, 6-220, 7-236, 8-246, 9-246

BOWLING: M Starc 7-0-29-4, C McKay 10-0-45-3, M Johnson 10-0-66-0, J Faulkner 10-1-52-0, S Watson 6-0-12-0, A Voges 2-0-2-40, M Marsh 5-0-22-0


S Watson c DM Bravo b Best    135

D Warner c Ramdin b Roach    0

P Hughes c Ramdin b Roach    0

G Bailey c Ramdin b Sammy    21

A Voges c Holder b Best    43

M Wade c Ramdin b DJ Bravo    15

M Marsh not out    39

J Faulkner not out    1

EXTRAS: (lb1, w3, nb1)    5

TOTAL: (6 wkts; 38.5 overs)    259

FOW: 1-4, 2-4, 3-72, 4-197, 5-205, 6-254

BOWLING: T Best 7-0-51-2, K Roach 6-0-44-2, J Holder 6-0-37-0, D Sammy 6-0-32-1, S Narine 9-0-50-0, DJ Bravo 4.5-0-44-1

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI) and Marais Erasmus