White Fern makes cricket history

Author
Niall Anderson, NZ Herald,
Section
Cricket,
Publish Date
Thursday, 14 June 2018, 6:26AM
Amelia Kerr hits one of her 784 boundaries. (Photo / Photosport)
Amelia Kerr hits one of her 784 boundaries. (Photo / Photosport)

New Zealand's greatest cricketing phenom has made history in jaw-dropping fashion.

17-year-old White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr has blasted a record-breaking 232 not out against Ireland - the highest score in the history of women's One Day Internationals.

Kerr broke the 21-year old record held by Belinda Clark, going past Clark's 229 with a stunning flourish - finishing four, four, six as the White Ferns racked up 440-3 - their third consecutive score of 400 or more.

She then completed arguably the greatest individual performance in ODI history by taking 5-17 with the ball as Ireland were bowled out for 135 as New Zealand coast to a 305-run victory.

It capped off a three-match series in which the White Ferns have produced unimaginable feats; feats which will have done a world of good for a women's game which is going from strength to strength in New Zealand.

In game one, the Ferns recorded the biggest score in ODI history, smashing 490, and in game two, Sophie Devine blasted the fastest ODI century by a New Zealand woman.

Somehow, Kerr surpassed both those accomplishments.

In 145 balls of pure class, Kerr bashed 31 fours and two sixes, depositing the Irish attack to all corners of the Castle Avenue ground in an utterly destructive display.

She added 295 for the second wicket with fellow spinner Leigh Kasperek - the second largest partnership in ODI history. Kasperek, whose previous top ODI score was 21, provided the perfect foil, stroking 113 off 105 balls for a memorable innings of her own.

Kerr, whose previous best effort with the bat before this series was 30, was promoted to open after she smacked 81 not out of 45 balls in the first game of the tour. With Devine rested after her record ton and Suzie Bates sent down the order, the White Ferns were clearly looking to rotate against the weaker Irish opposition, and Kerr made the most of her opportunity.

The caveat about oppositional strength does have to be mentioned - Ireland have been hopelessly outclassed, to the point where the Ferns could decimate their bowling attack with two batswomen who before this series had never batted above number seven in ODI cricket.

But those caveats would perhaps be more of note if Kerr has simply blasted another quickfire 80. When you become the youngest double centurion in the history of the game, there cannot be many diluters.

Kerr started sedately on her path to history, sitting on 20 off 29 balls at one point, as opening partner Amy Satterthwaite smacked a quickfire 61 from 45 balls.

When Satterthwaite departed, Kerr took up the initiative. Her 50 came up off 45 balls, and in no time she raced through to her maiden century, chopping a late cut for four to bring it up off just 77 balls.

It got easier from there. The 150 came up off just 102 deliveries, and more boundaries followed as first Bates' New Zealand record was toppled, before a lofted drive over extra cover saw Kerr raise the bat aloft for the fourth time to recognise her double century.

Sitting on 205 with just 10 balls remaining in the innings, it looked like there would be at least one record out of Kerr's reach, but nothing was stopping the Tawa College product.

12 runs came off the next four balls, and with some smartly run singles from Kate Ebrahim putting Kerr back on strike for one final salvo, she needed 12 off the last three balls to stand alone with the record.

Crash, bang, wallop: Amy Kenealy's bowling was duly dispatched for two fours and a innings-ending six, to cap off one of the greatest individual displays in New Zealand cricket history.

With a laundry list of records now on her resume, it bears repeating - somehow, Kerr has accomplished this at just 17 years of age.

Lord have mercy for her future opponents.

The Records Smashed By Amelia Kerr:

* Biggest score in a women's ODI (Second highest in any women's format, third in all ODIs)
* Biggest partnership for the second wicket in women's ODIs (Second highest for any wicket)
* Biggest partnership in White Ferns ODI history
* Most fours in a women's ODI innings
* Most boundaries in a women's ODI innings
* Youngest New Zealander to hit a hundred
* Youngest double centurion in all cricket

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