Amelia Kerr continues her golden run even as Lauren Down’s ton goes in vain

Amelia Kerr in action for Wellington Blaze in HBJ Shield © Getty Images

Amelia Kerr continued her incredible run of form to help Wellington Blaze register their third win from five matches – two matches were washed out – in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield (HBJ Shield) with an all-round performance. Amelia first led Wellington’s bowling efforts with a three-wicket haul despite a career-best ton from Lauren Down. Then she smashed an unbeaten 93 to take Blaze to a clinical eight-wicket win at the Kennards Hire Community Oval in Auckland on Monday (January 3).

After she opted to bat first, skipper Down lost her opening partner for a duck when IC Gaze was run out in the third over. Despite the early wicket, Arlene Kelly and Down took the hosts to 64 before Amelia sent Kelly back for 22.

Even though Down brought up her fifty from 73 balls, Hearts found themselves struggling at 93 for five in the 27th over when they lost Holly Huddleston and Bella Armstrong to Xara Jetly in quick succession.

The arrival of Jesse Prasad at the crease helped Hearts recover as she played a fast paced innings to put on a 97-run stand for the sixth wicket. Down reached her third List A century from 121 balls and Auckland seemed like they were on their way to a competitive score.

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However, Amelia castled Prasad for 38 off 40 balls to break the partnership and with the help of her sister Jess Kerr, bundled Auckland out for 219 in the 49th over. Before becoming Jess’s first wicket, Down reached her career-best score of 124 from 143 balls.

In the chase, Huddleston removed Rebecca Burns early paving way for Amelia to arrive at the crease in the fifth over. In the company of a sedate looking Jessica McFadyen, the leg-spinning allrounder took Blaze over the three-figure mark. Once McFadyen was removed by the left-arm spin of Fran Jonas for 44 off 84 balls, Maddy Green joined Amelia in the middle.

The international duo took on the Auckland bowlers for the Wellington side as Amelia got to her eighth List A fifty from 63 balls. Green at the other end was aggressive as well and hit a boundary in the last ball of the 40th over to take the partnership over the 100-run mark.

The win was just a foregone conclusion from there and Amelia hit Prasad for a boundary in the next over to take Wellington closer. In the 42nd over, Green finished the match in style as she brought up her fifty and the win with a four. The Wellington skipper remained not out on 51 off 56 balls, while Amelia registered her third-best List A score with an unbeaten 93 off 96 balls.

Brief Scores: Auckland Hearts 219/10 in 48.5 overs (Lauren Down 124, Jesse Prasad 38; Amelia Kerr 3/47, Jess Kerr 2/9) lost to Wellington Blaze 222/2 in 41.2 overs (Amelia Kerr 93*, Maddy Green 51*) by 8 wickets

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