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2000s in Review

Wisden’s women’s innings of the 2000s, No.1: Karen Rolton’s 107*

Rolton
by Aadya Sharma 2 minute read

Powered by a Karen Rolton classic, Australia‘s unbeaten run in the 2005 Women’s World Cup concluded with a thumping win the final. The knock is No.1 in Wisden’s women’s innings of the 2000s.

Karen Rolton 107* (128)

Australia v India, Women’s World Cup final
SuperSport Park, Centurion
April 10, 2005

Karen Rolton crushed first-time finalists India to help clinch Australia’s fifth World Cup title, scoring an unbeaten 107 in their comfortable 98-run win.

She walked in at the fall of skipper Belinda Clark at 24-1, the openers tied down by the new-ball pair of Amita Sharma and Jhulan Goswami. Soon, it became 31-2 in the 11th over, but a brief stand with Mel Jones put them back on track by the 25th over. 

At No.5, Lisa Sthalekar proved to be the ideal foil to Rolton, eventually forging a 139-run partnership that became the cornerstone for Australia’s winning score. Rolton later admitted that their initial idea was to aim at a total of around 180; they ended up with 215.

The Indian bowlers couldn’t sustain the early pressure, giving Rolton time to settle and shrug off a rusty start. Once she found her flow, Rolton was unrelenting, pressing on the pedal in the latter half of the innings, as Australia mounted 115 runs in the last 17 overs. On the way, India’s poor fielding was exposed when Rolton was handed a reprieve when Amita Sharma dropped a catch at mid-off, the batter then in her 60s.

Sthalekar fell in the final over, but Rolton’s domineering display took her to an unbeaten sixth ODI ton, embellished with 11 hits to the fence.

She ended with the Player of the Match award, and was also named Player of the Tournament, totaling 246 runs at 61.50. The following season, she was named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.

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