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Perry hits ton as Australia sink West Indies


Ellyse Perry registered her second ODI ton © Getty
Ellyse Perry shone through in a superlative batting effort from Australia as she posted her highest ODI score - 112* off 118 balls - while the troika of Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney and Ashleigh Gardner played supporting roles with a half-century each to take Australia to the same total as the first ODI - 308. Like in that game, the target was way out of reach for the hosts' flimsy line-up which could only better its previous attempt at chase by a mere 26 runs to fall short by 157 this time.
Though Rachael Haynes didn't make the most of her victory at the toss - falling for a 34-ball 13 - all the Australian batters around her cashed in on a flat track in Antigua. Healy began the onslaught in the sixth over - smashing Chinelle Henry for 18 runs - and reached her half-century off just 33 deliveries. Though she slowed down a touch, her dismissal in the 18th over - coincidentally off Henry - came against the run of play and gave West Indies a shot at revival. That, though, was not to be as Beth Mooney and Perry decided to capitalise on the platform that Healy's efforts gave the third-wicket pair. 

Healy's exit though paved the way for a slow passage of play where runs didn't come too easily. The pair though kept at it undeterred to ensure they left the side in a comfortable position to tee off towards the end of the innings. Perry's half-century came off 66 balls while Mooney took 75, as Australia reached 208/2 in 40 overs. The momentum took a complete turn when Mooney had to retire hurt on 56 off 81, making way for Gardner. By this stage, Perry too had found more fluency to her game, upping her strike rate slightly. 

Three overs after the Mooney retirement fetched 21 runs, taking Australia to 251 for 2 in 45 overs, and on course for a total in the range of 280-290. From this point however, Perry and Gardner threw their bat at almost everything that came their way. 

6, 12, 17, 7 and 20 were how much Australia pinched off the last five overs, with Perry going past three figures and finishing unbeaten on her career-best score of 112 while Gardner finished undefeated on 57 off just 25 balls - a blitzkrieg of an innings that had six fours and three sixes in them. 

The contrast in the batting performances of the two sides was quite telling, with Kyshona Knight's 32 being the highest on the day for the hosts. The next best - of 31 - came from No. 8 batter Sheneta Grimmond, when the game was already far beyond their reach. The reason they found themselves in such a dire situation is because the bowlers took a cue out of the batter's display to pool in another combined effort to sink the hosts. 

West Indies lost their first wicket in the fourth over with just seven runs on board and made a very slow recovery from there. Before that effort could turn into something meaningful, there was another breakthrough to set West Indies back further. A third-wicket stand between Kyshona Knight and Stafanie Taylor gave West Indies another snail-paced reboot, until the 29th over when Georgia Wareham dismissed them off successive deliveries. 

West Indies stuttered from the point before their best stand of the game - worth 59 runs between Shabika Gajnabi and Sheneta Grimmond - came as a mere consolation. 

The win propelled Australia to the top of the Championship table points table, two points clear of England, while West Indies continue to languish in the seventh position. 

Brief Scores: Australia 308/2 in 50 overs (Ellyse Perry 112*, Alyssa Healy 58, Ashleigh Gardner 57*, Beth Mooney 56) beat West Indies 157/8 in 50 overs (Kyshona Knight 32, Sheneta Grimmond 31; Georgia Wareham 2-26) by 151 runs

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