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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Poor start cost us dearly - Clark
Belinda Clark
Australia only managed 131 in their first innings at New Road
Australia captain Belinda Clark blamed a bad start to the second Test for the loss of the Women's Ashes.

England took the series 1-0 with a six-wicket win, but Clark praised her team for making them fight all the way. "We didn't play well as well as we should have on the first two days and put ourselves in a no-win situation really," she told BBC Sport.

"It would have been a nice toss to win. We didn't but we should have coped with conditions a lot better than we did."

It was Australia's first Test defeat by England since 1984 but Clark said talk of a decline was premature.

They may have to manage without her and strike bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick in future series, however, with both of them having high-profile coaching jobs back at home.

"We've got a couple of debutants on this tour and they're coming along nicely.

"We're continually regenerating and rebuilding and this tour is an opportunity to continue that," said Clark.

After losing to Australia in the semi-finals of the World Cup only four or five months ago, this is just amazing
England skipper Clare Connor

There were positives in the performances of Kate Blackwell and Shelly Nitschke, who shared a century stand in Australia's second innings.

In the end a lead of only 75 runs was not enough, although England lost two wickets to Emma Liddell with the new ball and had another wobble at 39-4.

"We nearly pulled off a miraculous little win there but (it was) not to be, and probably the better team won.

"We knew if we got a few runs ahead we'd cause some trouble with the ball and that's what happened," Clark added.

Nitschke, who hit an unbeaten 88, denied that the prospect of being the first Australian team to lose a Women's Ashes series since 1963 had been an extra burden during the game.

"That wasn't spoken about by the girls at all. We just wanted to win for the here and now. We wanted to win the series regardless of the history," she said.





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