Gros Islet (St.Lucia): Big-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard smashed a brilliant century as West Indies beat Australia by 42 runs in the fourth One-Day International to take a crucial 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

The 24-year-old right-hander slammed 102 from mere 70 balls and propelled the Windies to a competitive 294 for seven off 50 overs.

Batting at number six, Pollard hit five fours and eight typically massive sixes in an extraordinary display that saw the West Indies plunder 117 runs from the last 10 overs of the innings.

Their bowlers, led by off-spinner Sunil Narine, then restricted Australia to 252 all out off 46.3 overs. Narine took just one wicket but his 10 overs cost only 24 runs and again, kept the brakes on the Aussie scoring.

Meanwhile, seamers Andre Russell (2-34), captain Darren Sammy (2-42), Dwayne Bravo (2-47) and Kemar Roach (2-74) all claimed two wickets to make inroads at key junctures.

Pollard's innings, his second ODI century, headlined an outstanding effort from West Indies, with opener Adrian Barath stroking a 41 and partner Johnson Charles getting 37.

Australia had little answer to the Windies onslaught with medium pacer Shane Watson (2-55), left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty (2-64) and speedster Brett Lee (2-72) struggling to contain the flow of runs.

Lee rattled a few nerves with five fours and five sixes- including 24 runs off one Roach over - but he eventually holed out in the deep off the same bowler to hand the Windies victory.

The experienced David Hussey stroked 57 from 54 balls but West Indies held their nerve well to put themselves in a strong position to take their first series win over the Aussies in 17 years.

(Agencies)