Cricket: Teen whiz key to Ferns breaking drought

Amelia Kerr. Photo / Supplied
Amelia Kerr. Photo / Supplied

It has been a long time between Rose Bowl drinks for New Zealand, but they have a chance to break the drought in the women's decider against Australia at Mt Maunganui tomorrow.

Not since 1999 have New Zealand toppled Australia in an ODI series.

New Zealand coach Haidee Tiffen was playing then; so too New Zealand Cricket president Debbie Hockley. Australia have won 15 of the last 16 series, the other being drawn.

Now the White Ferns' chances - with the series locked up 1-all - rest on the likes of batting champions Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite and a 16-year-old legspin whiz, Amelia Kerr.

She took four for 54 in the second game of the series, a four-wicket win to Australia at the Mount this week, and captain Bates has no problems identifying her importance to the New Zealand side for years to come.

Kerr, grand daughter of 1960s New Zealand opener Bruce Murray, was chuffed to see a sign saying "Amelia, I'm skipping school as well" at the Bay Oval on Thursday.

"From what I've learned about Amelia, there's no such thing as pressure to her," said Bates, Wisden's 2016 women's player of the year.

"She just wants the ball. She talks about what she wants to bowl, she know her game, and the game of cricket really well. There's no fear about her.

"She's going to be a massive star for us."

Bowling to the likes of Australian star Meg Lanning is "pretty cool", Kerr said.

So, too, bowling her with a googly at the Mount.

"Lucky it worked," Kerr added self deprecatingly.

Satterthwaite has put up scores of 137 not out, 115 not out, 123, 102 not out and 85 - 562 runs at 280 in her last five ODI innings. She should be a monty to be New Zealand Cricket's player of the year, especially in a year NZC have emphasised the importance of raising the profile of the women's game after leaving it to languish in recent years.

Bates, too, is a significant figure. She put a black mark against New Zealand's fielding in game two, she said - "our worst in the series".

Lanning, meanwhile, is backing her side to finish the job against New Zealand tomorrow and keep the Rose Bowl for an 18th straight year.

"It's happened to us in the past when we've lost the first game and come back and won the next two so we've been in this position before and we know that we can perform under pressure," Lanning said.

"I thought the performance was a really good team effort and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the next game."

The Australians may be forced to return to Bay Oval for the decider without star all-rounder Ellyse Perry, who injured her elbow while bowling.

"We'll have to see if she's available - it's disappointing as she's a very important player for us."

Australia are no slouches but New Zealand have shown they have some steel. This is their chance.

The game starts at 11am tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 27 Apr 2017 20:41:19 Processing Time: 647ms