Brian Lara led the West Indies to an emphatic 39-run victory that ended Australia's record 21-match consecutive one-day international winning run at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
The West Indies scored 290 for five after winning the toss and restricted the World Cup champions to 251 for nine for an overduevictory in the fifth one-day international.
The triumph, greeted by joyous scenes from Lara's home town crowd, also snapped a losing 11-game sequence against Australia stretching back to their last win by eight wickets in Bridgetown four years ago.
The Australians, whose last ODI loss was to Sri Lanka in Sydney on January 9, had dominated the West Indies in the four previous games to clinch the one-day series after capturing the Test series 3-1.
But it was the West Indies' day with Lara claiming man-of-the-match honours with his 80 off 101 balls studded with 11 fours and a six.
Just when Lara looked poised to reach his 17th ODI century he was caught behind by Adam Gilchrist off Andy Bichel, the seventh time he had fallen to Bichel in the Caribbean Test and ODI series.
"It was a great team performance, we got a good total, myself and Wavell (Hinds) batted very well and set up the game for Sarwan and Samuels and we bowled really tight, all credit must go to the team," said Lara.
The Windies lost Chris Gayle for five in the second over but there was to be no further brittleness inside the opening 15 overs as was the case in the other ODI contests.
Lara, who showed his intention when he came into bat at number three, combined with opener Hinds to put on a 178-run partnership off 190 balls for the second wicket to have his team in command by Hinds' dismissal for 79 in the 35th over.
It was the Windies' second-highest one-day partnership against Australia, only behind 205 set by Desmond Haynes and Viv Richards at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1979-80.
"Number three is the right position to bat for me, you have a lot more overs and I'm accustomed to batting through the innings and today it showed that, so hopefully I can continue batting there in this series and against Sri Lanka," Lara said.
Ponting said the winning sequence had to end sometime and he praised the West Indies' performance.
"Full credit to the West Indies today, they played really well, they batted well and then took three early wickets with the new ball where probably the game changed," Ponting said.
Hinds began slowly but finished with a flourish of seven fours and a straight-hit six off young spinner Nathan Hauritz.
Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels continued to push along the West Indian runs with a stand of 71 off 73 balls for the fourth wicket before both fell in Brett Lee's ninth over and 47th of the innings.
Sarwan offered a thin edge to Gilchrist for 32 off 37 balls and Samuels went two balls later, deceived by an inswinging yorker which struck his back pad in front of the wicket for 42 off 38 balls.
Ricardo Powell added some late bucaneering strokemaking when he came in with 19 balls left and struck 20 off 13 balls with wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs not out seven.