SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):Kieron Pollard's third one-day international century could not prevent another West Indies defeat, as their five-match series against Australia quickly turned to disaster here yesterday.
The big-hitting right-hander stroked a mature, unbeaten 109 to haul West Indies around from the turmoil of 55 for six in the 20th over and steer them to a respectable 220 all out off 49.4 overs.
All-rounder Shane Watson then hammered 76, his second half-century in as many games as Australia cantered to a comfortable five-wicket win with five overs left at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The defeat was the fourth straight for West Indies, leaving them on the brink of a dreaded whitewash, with the final ODI scheduled for Melbourne tomorrow.
Not for the first time in the series, West Indies' batting collapsed under disciplined bowling and smart catching from the Aussies, after they won the toss and opted to take first knock.
Left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson starred with three for 36 while fast bowler Ben Cutting, in his first game of the series, picked up three for 45.
Johnson Charles, in for the injured Chris Gayle, lasted all of three balls without scoring before missing a prod at Johnson and losing his off stump at five for one in the fourth over.
His in-form opener partner Kieran Powell got a leading edge to cover off Johnson to depart for nine in the eighth over and three balls later, fellow left-hander Darren Bravo (4) failed to safely negotiate a lifting delivery, and fended an easy catch to Aaron Finch at second slip to leave West Indies 17 for three.
With five runs added, Dwayne Bravo (3) missed a forward defensive stroke and was leg before wicket to off-spinner Glenn Maxwell on review and Narsingh Deonarine suggested permanence before nicking Cutting to Finch at second slip.
Devon Thomas (7) was on the end of a harsh decision by the third umpire, adjudged caught by Finch diving forward at second slip in Cutting's next over, when several replays proved inconclusive.
West Indies seemed set to collapse in a heap when Pollard anchored a series of partnerships to see the Windies out of trouble. The rescue mission began with a steady 43-run, seventh-wicket stand with captain Darren Sammy whose 25 came from 42 balls and included three fours.
The right-handed Pollard put on another 35 for the eighth wicket with Andre Russell (18) but it was his 64-run, ninth-wicket stand off 46 balls with Sunil Narine (23) which gave West Indies precious runs at the end.
Pollard aborted his usual dashing approach for prudence, facing 136 balls and counting 11 fours and two sixes, to see the innings through.
He raised his half-century off 95 deliveries before reaching triple figures off 132 balls in the penultimate over of the innings. He moved to 99 with his second six that sailed over long-on off seamer Clint McKay, before taking a single down the ground.
Watson, who hit a hundred in the third ODI in Canberra, once again put the Windies bowlers to the sword as he set the Aussies on their way in an innings that consumed 84 balls and contained nine fours.
He survived a regulation chance to wicketkeeper Devon Thomas on 32 in the 17th over, to share in two half-century stands that all but shut the Windies out. He put on 53 for the first wicket with Finch (25) and a further 62 for the second wicket with Phil Hughes (23).