At just 16, Wellington Blaze and WHITE FERNS whizzkid Amelia Kerr broke through again this season with her maiden One-Day century — in yet another exciting one-run win. The close-run result also dashed the Otago Sparks' hoped of making the One-Day Final, having already qualified for the T20 version.
Sparks skipper Suzie Bates put Blaze into bat at Karori Park, making a quick breakthrough with Eimear Richardon’s wicket before Kerr came in at first drop to begin building her breakthrough innings.
Kerr combined early on with WHITE FERN Rachel Priest who would be just four runs short of a fifty when she was bowled by Morna Nielsen.
Priest had dominated their second-wicket stand of 47, and provided key impetus at a run-a-ball rate, but Kerr’s tenacious innings would last all the way until the final over to underpin Blaze’s 261 for eight.
Kerr’s 119 eclipsed her previous PB of 58, but without captain Liz Perry’s support she might not have got there as the rest of the Blaze order fell away, Leigh Kasperek picking up 3-34 — including Kerr, bowled with four balls left in the innings.
Blaze finished their 50 overs a 261/8 and the Sparksgot off to a flying start in reply, opener Suzie Bates setting the tempo with a half century off just 33 balls.
Kasperek (49), batting a four, and Vic Holden (43) then kept the Sparks moving and they were well on track at 181 for four at the second drinks break.
But a late roar from the Wellington Blaze attack saw six wickets scythed away in the last 10 overs, boiling down to a dramatic last-ball finish in which Caitlin Blakely was run out going for the run that would have tied the scores.
Wellington Blaze has probably had its fill of nailbiting finishes this season but we’re thrilled to have a victory to keep them in the running for the remaining spot in the 2017 One-Day Final.
Now their mission is to outdo defending champions the Auckland Hearts on the points table in this Sunday’s final round, in order to join the unbeaten Canterbury Magicians in the trophy match.