Karunya Keshav recalls the audacious 232* from teenager Amelia Kerr that broke a 21-year-old record.
Amelia Kerr: 232* (145 balls, 31x4s, 2x6s) New Zealand v Ireland, 3rd ODI, Dublin, June 13
Belinda Clark who? Seventeen-year-old Amelia Kerr had not heard the name until she broke the record set by the Australia legend – a record set before Kerr was even born.
Clark’s 229* against Denmark in the 1997 World Cup had set the bar as the top ODI score for 21 years before New Zealand’s teenage prodigy raised it with her 232* against Ireland in Dublin. It was the statement of a new generation.
— WHITE FERNS (@WHITE_FERNS) June 13, 2018
Her coaches and captains have described Kerr as being “wise beyond her years”. Unflappable. Her googly had been the first thing to grab her attention on the world stage – not surprising when you can count Meg Lanning as one of your victims at the World Cup. But this innings was when she showed she could be an all-rounder for the future.
Promoted to open the batting for the first time at the international level, albeit against an inexperienced Ireland side, Kerr got her first run off the seventh ball she faced. There were a couple of well-timed leg-side fours, but early on, it looked as if her senior partner, Amy Satterthwaite, would be the one leading the charge as the duo added 78 in the first 10 overs.
Then, in the company of Leigh Kasperek, she loosened her arms. She showed off a drive in getting to her fifty, and slammed a six down the ground. She pulled, she swept, she cut. She shuffled across her stumps and she danced down the track.
"Pretty special … My mind was clear – see ball hit ball … I had no idea of the record … I'll watch some quality TV tonight – Love Island!"
? Amelia Kerr full of insights and banter post her World-Record 232* ?#IREvNZ #NorthernTour pic.twitter.com/0A1Opr0cwp
— WHITE FERNS (@WHITE_FERNS) June 14, 2018
The first century came off 77 balls, the next just 57, as she opened up more areas of the ground. Hers was the fastest international double-ton, among men or women.
At 163, she offered up a chance, which was spilled at short third man. But that was all – a sequence of four, four, six off the last three balls took her past Clark and to a total of 440-3 for New Zealand.
“I had no idea [about the record]. I thought I heard them say stuff on the speaker but I didn’t hear them because everyone was clapping,” she said in all earnestness.
Kerr’s partnership with Kasperek, who made 113 herself, was worth 295 runs, the highest second-wicket partnership in women’s ODIs. To top it all, the youngster had a quick nap on the physio’s table and was back in the second innings to take a five-wicket haul. The audacity of youth, eh.