Traditionally growing up with men’s cricket, we have unfortunately sidelined the same sport when played by the opposite gender. It has the same rules, played on the same ground and is played with similar zeal. Yet, it has unfortunately not been able to pick up similar viewership.
We have no idea of Cathryn Fitzpatrick’s fiery bowling, Betty Wilson’s century and a ten-wicket haul in the same match, Rachael Heyhoe-Flint’s captaincy tales or Belinda Clark’s double-ton in an ODI. But Amelia Kerr’s performance deserves to be narrated, and trust me, it is a brilliant story.
Back in June 2018, New Zealand women’s team was on a tour of England and Ireland. There was a one-match T20 series against Ireland which NZ women won comfortably. This was followed by a three-match ODI series in which, the first two matches were won by New Zealand by 347 runs and 306 runs respectively. New Zealand managed to score over 400 runs in both these games.Embed from Getty Images
In the third match, the big-hitting little girl, Amelia Kerr was promised to be sent as the opener for New Zealand after her promising performances in the middle-order. She was only a 17-year-old at that time.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat, Amelia accompanied the regular opener Amy Satterthwaite who started hitting from the word go. Fours were piled on very easily. And Amelia picked a leaf from this book. She too started smacking fours one-by-one.Embed from Getty Images
New Zealand lost its first wicket at 113 in the 15th over. The next batter, Leigh Kasperek was a much sober performer who preferred to go the traditional way and score runs by rotating the strike. And she did do that.
Amelia started doubling the hitting rate to compensate for her partner. She reached her century in just 77 balls, and never seemed to take a pause on hitting. Even Kasperek now started attacking the bowlers. And Kerr, her next 50 came up in just 25 balls. The Irish players were flustered by now, where would they bowl?
After putting a mighty partnership of 295, Kasperek departed in the 47th over. Soon, Kerr made her double-century. And she became the second player in the history of women’s cricket to make a double century.
🚨 WORLD RECORD ALERT 🚨— ICC (@ICC) June 13, 2018
Amelia Kerr has just broken Belinda Clark’s 21-year-old record for the highest score in women’s ODIs – a record set before Kerr was even born! 💪 pic.twitter.com/8cLcucVbBm
At the start of the 50th over, Kerr was at 217 in 141 balls, 12 runs short of Clark’s record of 229*, which was the highest score in women’s cricket. In the last three balls of the over, she was still 11 runs short of the record. Two fours and a six later, she finished the innings with a score of 232*.
Her incredible innings of 232* (145) had a total of 31 fours and 2 sixes, and she who had opened the innings carried her bat till the end of the innings.
She was now completely tired and unable to move, after all, she batted for over a three hours non-stop. The team physio told her to take a quick nap before the start of New Zealand’s bowling. A much-deserved break later, New Zealand stepped out to bowl.
New Zealand once again got a dream start with the bowlers picking 3 wickets for just 44 runs. But the fourth-wicket partnership was going good for the next 13 overs and the bowlers were unable to break this partnership.
And guess who was called to bowl? Amelia it was!
Amelia’s legspin already got her a maiden over in the first over itself. In the next over, she bowled Ireland’s top-scorer Una Raymond-Hoey. And in the next few overs, she wrapped up the Irish batting too picking 4 more wickets. She bowled 7 overs with 2 maidens giving only 17 runs.Embed from Getty Images
And surprisingly, all her five wickets that day were bowled. So she scored 232* and picked a five wicket haul the same day.
And that is the story of the greatest all-round performance in limited-overs. Thinking of a seventeen-year-old player making their debut in international cricket is itself great, and Amelia Kerr broke the records at this age.
Featured Image: Amelia Kerr’s Six | Twitter/White ferns
I am a developer by profession, a passionate Cricket fan and have contributed with articles about this sport on various blogs and knowledge sharing platforms. I have been awarded the Top Writer Award on Quora for 2018 and have over 25 million views and 10 thousand followers on Quora.