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Cricket - 17. July 2007.

Rolton predicts close encounter

Rolton, who is 61 runs short of becoming only the third woman to complete 4,000 ODI runs after compatriot Belinda Clark (4,844) and former White Fern Debbie Hockley (4,064), will lead the world champions once again.

“Every time we play New Zealand, we are ready for a tough, hard-fought series,” said the 32-year-old, who won the inaugural ICC Women's Player of the Year award in Mumbai last year.

“The two teams really enjoy playing against each other. We can’t wait to play this series as we really enjoy playing against one of the best teams in women’s cricket.

“Each series we play, the result can go either way. I know if we don’t play to our potential, the Kiwis can beat us. They push us to play our best cricket every game we play against them.

“Our team has a never-say-die attitude which seems to get us over the line in tight games. I think as a team we handle pressure very well, especially when things aren’t going our way,” said Rolton,

The Southern Stars and the White Ferns have a history of very close and thrilling matches.

In last year’s Rose Bowl Series in Brisbane, the home team won the first game by one run, the second by one wicket and the third by five runs before sweeping the five-match series.

But the New Zealanders defeated Australia en route to this year’s Quadrangular Series final in India, before the world champions proved their class again.

“This series will definitely be a close one as was in India and the Rose Bowl series in October last year,” added the South Australian.

“I don’t think there is too much difference between the two teams, any team can win on the day.”

The series opens with a Twenty20 match on 19 July.

Rose Bowl schedule

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