Dale Budge is a sports writer for the NZ Herald.

Bowls: Jo Edwards approaches 500th test as Blackjacks enjoy perfect day

New Zealand bowler Jo Edwards will bring up 500 tests against Saskia Schaft. Photo / Greg Bowker
New Zealand bowler Jo Edwards will bring up 500 tests against Saskia Schaft. Photo / Greg Bowker

The Blackjacks have enjoyed a perfect second day at the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch - winning all of their matches despite cool conditions.

The men's pair of Mike Kernaghan and Shannon McIlroy is second in their section as are the men's triples of Mike Nagy, Blake Signal and Ali Forsyth while the women's fours (Katelyn Inch, Angela Boyd, Kirsten Edwards and Val Smith) are leading their section.

Singles player Jo Edwards will tomorrow meet Dutchwoman Saskia Schaft and Australian Karen Murphy - the three leading bowlers at the tournament - where top spot and a free life in post section play are up for grabs. The second and third place bowlers will face sudden death in post section play.

Edwards' 8.15am match against Schaft will see the durable veteran bring up 500 tests for New Zealand. She will become the second New Zealander behind Rowan Brassey to have achieved the remarkable feat.

The Commonwealth Games and World Championships gold medalist will play Murphy at 12.15pm.

Edwards hopes the occasion won't get the better of her as it will be emotional and there will be a lot of interest in her milestone match and she hopes to approach it like any other match with so much riding on the result.

"Hopefully not different than what I have the last couple of days," said Edwards. "I know it is a big milestone and all that but it is a big game in the section play and hopefully I won't get too overwhelmed by it all.

"To get straight through to the semifinals is what everyone is going for so it is a huge step - that would be great if we got there."

Edwards dropped a match on Tuesday but has looked rock solid since and feels she's playing well enough to win.

"It is funny - Tuesday playing in the howling gale she was a bit of a lottery so to get two out of three I was really rapt with and to finish yesterday with three wins is great. Some are going close and some aren't but let's just hope that more go close to the white thing today."

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