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Sunday, June 20, 1999 Published at 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK

Klusener is player of tournament

Lance Klusener: Stunning efforts with the bat for South Africa

South African all-rounder Lance Klusener has been named the Player of the World Cup.

The 27-year-old, who wins a car as part of his prize, earned the award for some late-order fireworks with the bat.

He consistently bailed the South Africans out of trouble, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground, after coming in at number eight in the order.

However, he was involved in the fateful mix-up with Allan Donald that led to South Africa's dramatic exit in the semi-final

"It suited me to be lower down the order," said the softly-spoken Klusener as he accepted his award after the final at Lord's.

But he dismissed the suggestion that his achievements would make up for the failure of the favourites to win the tournament.

"It's a huge disappointment still," he added. "We played really good cricket, its just unfortunate that it was not meant to be."

All-round star

Klusener topped the batting averages on 140, after accumulating 281 runs from eight innings.

Wielding a heavy bat he adopted a swashbuckling style that captured the imagination of fans throughout the five-week event.

He was also one of the competition's star performers with the ball, taking 17 wickets at an average of just 20.

BBC television commentator Richie Benaud agreed with the decision to make Klusener player of the tournament.

"Every time he came out he looked like turning the match," Benaud said.

"When he hit those two fours off Damien Fleming (in the last over against Australia) I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever seen."

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