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Kiwi teenager Amelia Kerr sets record in women’s ODI cricket with undefeated 232

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DUBLIN: New Zealand teenager Amelia Kerr shattered a world batting record in women’s one-day international cricket with a blistering 232 not out against Ireland on Wednesday. Kerr amassed the record total just days after her team’s 490 for four against Ireland set a record for cricket’s highest-ever one-day international total. The 17-year-old, whose average was just 29 going into the match, blasted 31 fours and two sixes to surpass the 229 scored by Australia’s Belinda Clark against Denmark in 1997 – three years before Kerr was born. Kerr’s onslaught is also the third-highest individual score by a man or woman in one-day international history.

India men’s player Rohit Sharma is at the top of the pile with his 264 scored against Sri Lanka in 2014. New Zealand’s Martin Guptill made 237 against West Indies in 2015. At 17 years and 243 days, Kerr is the youngest double-centurion in international men’s or women’s cricket.

“It was pretty surreal. It was just nice to get the opportunity to open and get some time out in the middle,” Kerr told the New Zealand Cricket website. Kerr was also involved in the second-highest partnership in women’s ODI cricket, as she and Leigh Kasperek who scored 113 put on a mammoth 285 runs for the second wicket. “I had to work hard at the start but once I got through (that), I got going and had a good partnership with Leigh which allowed me just to play how I wanted to play and try to hit boundaries because we weren’t losing wickets,” explained Kerr. Asked if her approach had altered after she reached three figures, Kerr replied, “Not much changed too much; I just wanted to keep batting.” She continued, “I thought ‘put the bad ball away and keep scoring off most balls’. I knew that the powerplay was coming so once we got to the powerplay, with only three out, I was going to try to go hard then.”

Kerr said it was only when she came off the field, to be told by her team-mates, that she realised she had rewritten cricket’s record books. “I had no idea. I think I heard them say stuff on the speaker, but I couldn’t hear because everyone kept clapping, she said.” Kerr’s innings was far and away the largest of a fledgling, yet impressive career which had seen her become known primarily as a leg-spin bowler. “I had 152 against Otago Under-21s a few years ago, so this is comfortably my highest score,” she said. Kerr also starred with the ball, taking five for 17 in seven overs as New Zealand went on to beat Ireland by 305 runs after dismissing the hosts for 135 in Dublin. Victory saw the White Ferns complete a 3-0 series sweep over Ireland, with every one of those wins by colossal margins of over 300 runs. New Zealand now travel across the Irish Sea to face England and South Africa in a Twenty20 tri-series, from June 20-July 1. The White Ferns then play world champions England in a three-match ODI series from July 9-15.

Published in Daily Times, June 15th 2018.

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