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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Rolton innings delights skipper
Belinda Clark
Clark receives the World Cup for the second time in her career
Captain Belinda Clark praised Karen Rolton's player-of-the-match display after Australia beat India to win the Women's World Cup for a fifth time.

Rolton's innings of 107 not out set up a 98-run win over India in the final.

"In the past she's batted flamboyantly, but today she had to do some hard yards before she got to the point where she could hit them wherever she wanted.

"In a World Cup final, to be able to hold your nerve like that is really pleasing," Clark told BBC Sport.

Australia were 71-3 when Rolton and Lisa Sthalekar came together in a partnership of 139 which carried their side to a total which proved well beyond India's reach.

"Obviously our early batting wasn't what we would have liked.

"But Karen batted really well and Lisa Sthalekar and her held the innings together beautifully and allowed us to accelerate towards the end.

"Two hundred and fifteen was always going to be difficult to chase if we bowled in the right areas," said Clark.

Rolton's century was her third in World Cup games, but by far the most important and it also earned her the Player of the Tournament award.

"I was just keen to try to bat for as long as I could and occupy the crease.

"I was just happy to help the team get a competitive total - something that we could bowl at," she said.

Clark said the victory was a product of the system in place for Australian women's cricket, but their strength in depth was likely to be tested over the next couple of years.

They will take on England in the Women's Ashes this summer.

Clark said it was too early to say how much longer she and other senior players like 37-year-old strike bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick would continue.

"There's probably a few people in that situation. If they want to play on, it's up to the selectors whether they choose them or not.

"But there is going to be a need at some point to bring more young players into the team."

Clark paid tribute to India's overall performance during the tournament.

"We were in India in December 2004 and I think the information we gained from that tour held us in good stead today," she added.

"They're a great team and they'll be stronger for the effort today.

"They've got some terrific players and I'm sure they'll be a team that are worth watching in the future."




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Interview: Australian captain Belinda Clark



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