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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Rolton overpowers England women
Women's Twenty20 International, Taunton: Australia 153-3 (17.4 overs) beat England 151-7 (20 overs) by seven wickets

Karen Rolton
It's hard to contain someone when they're hitting the ball that well
England captain Clare Connor

Karen Rolton showed why she is the most dangerous batter in women's cricket as Australia beat England by seven wickets in their Twenty20 match at Taunton.

Rolton hammered a six and 16 fours in her 96 off 53 balls as they reached 153-3 with 2.2 overs to spare.

She shared an unbroken stand of 145 with Kate Blackwell (43) after they had been 6-3 at the start of their innings.

England made 151-7 in their 20 overs with Charlotte Edwards (42) and Claire Taylor (26) the main contributors.

But after Katherine Brunt had removed Australia's top order, skipper Clare Connor and her side were powerless to stop Rolton as she unleashed a series of magnificent strokes.

Whether advancing down the pitch before driving through or over the in-field or rocking onto the back foot to cut or pull, the left-hander treated the bowlers with equal disdain.

Her half century came up off only 30 balls but she was unable to make it to three figures when Blackwell put away the winning boundary off Beth Morgan.

I had a lot fun out there, I wouldn't mind playing a few more of those
Karen Rolton

The result completed a successful 24 hours for the Southern Stars, who won the final one-day international on Thursday to take the series 3-2.

And it also enabled skipper Belinda Clark and fellow opener Lisa Keightley to go out on a high note before retiring to take up coaching positions.

England opted to bat first after winning the toss, and brought in all-rounder Rosalie Birch to replace Isa Guha.

They were given a flying start by Edwards and Laura Newton (24), who collected seven fours in the first two overs as they put on 77.

Both departed in quick succession and wickets continued to tumble as England tried to step up the scoring rate in the second half of their innings, but two boundaries in the final over enabled them to post what looked like a competitive total.

Their prospects looked even brighter as Keightley was caught at mid-off in Brunt's first over and Clark was bowled for four as she walked across in front of her stumps to try and hoist the ball over square leg.

Brunt struck again when Lisa Sthalekar dabbed at a wide ball and edged to keeper Jane Smith, but the scenario changed rapidly once Blackwell joined Rolton in the middle.

England could not find the consistent line and length needed to halt the flow of fours and by the end, they looked a well beaten side.

But they at least had the consolation of having won the two-Test series and pushed the World Cup holders very close in the one-dayers.

England Women: C Edwards, L Newton, Claire Taylor, A Brindle J Gunn, L Greenway, B Morgan, C Connor (Capt), R Birch, J Smit (Wkt), K Brunt.

Australia Women: B Clark (Capt), L Keightley (Wkt), K Rolton, L Sthalekar, K Blackwell, C Fitzpatrick, A Blackwell, J Hayes, S Edwards, S Nitschke, K Pike.


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