17 year old Amanda Kerr breaks cricket records

It has to be said that the White Ferns New Zealand women’s cricket team has absolutely smashed Ireland in a three game series, but the effort by 17 year old Amanda Kerr is still amazing.

Records were broken in the first two games – from White Fern makes cricket history

In game one, the Ferns recorded the biggest score in ODI history, smashing 490, and in game two, Sophie Devine blasted the fastest ODI century by a New Zealand woman.

But Kerr starred with both bat and ball in the third.

17-year-old White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr has blasted a record-breaking 232 not out against Ireland – the highest score in the history of women’s One Day Internationals.

She then completed arguably the greatest individual performance in ODI history by taking 5-17 with the ball as Ireland were bowled out for 135 as New Zealand coast to a 305-run victory.

Kerr scored nearly a hundred more runs than the Ireland 11.

The caveat about oppositional strength does have to be mentioned – Ireland have been hopelessly outclassed, to the point where the Ferns could decimate their bowling attack with two batswomen who before this series had never batted above number seven in ODI cricket.

But those caveats would perhaps be more of note if Kerr has simply blasted another quickfire 80. When you become the youngest double centurion in the history of the game, there cannot be many diluters.

Amelia Kerr’s records:

  • Biggest score in a women’s ODI (Second highest in any women’s format, third in all ODIs)
  • Biggest partnership for the second wicket in women’s ODIs (Second highest for any wicket)
  • Biggest partnership in White Ferns ODI history
  • Most fours in a women’s ODI innings
  • Most boundaries in a women’s ODI innings
  • Youngest New Zealander to hit a hundred
  • Youngest double centurion in all cricket

Cricket form can be fickle, but Kerr has made an impressive start to her career.

Record ODI score for White Ferns

New Zealand’s White Ferns have scored a record 490 runs in a 50 over One Day International. While the opposition (Ireland) will have contributed, this is especially impressive as women cricketers are not as big a hitters as men.

New Zealand women 490 for 4 (Bates 151, Green 121, Kerr 81*)
beat Ireland women 144 (Delany 37, Kasperek 4-17) by 346 runs

There were only 7 sizes in that total, but a whopping 64 fours – more than one per over on average. Ireland side scored only 18 boundaries, while Bates alone hit 26.

Notably, this match was played on the same pitch where New Zealand had chased down 137 in 11 overs without losing a wicket on Wednesday.


Last day of Commonwealth Games

I’ve been enjoying coverage of the Commonwealth Games – it’s a rare opportunity to watch sport at a high level in many things. I particularly like cycling and athletics, as well as a number of other sports – there’s been some very good squash and beach volleyball (men’s, I find the attire of some of the women gross and off putting).

As always there have been disappointments, like the netball – New Zealand squeaked through to the semi finals but got got thrashed by Australia last night. The Silver Ferns just aren’t a top team at the moment – and other countries have improved markedly.

Media unrealistic expectations have put the ‘commentators curse’ on some. Valerie Adams was always going to be a maybe making a comeback six months after having a baby. She threw a personal best well below her best of past years, but was pipped by a Jamaican who putted her best ever distance to win. Silver is still very good for Adams – she is 33 so may never reach her peak performance again.

Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney was also talked up too much. She was out tactic’d and out jumped by a Canadian who performed better on the night. Again, silver is still a good result, and this was a good lesson for McCartney in ignoring media hype.

Unexpected success is the best. After several draws in pool play and the semi final (won by penalty shoot out) the women’s hockey team beat Australia 4-1 in the final to take gold, a great result for them.

Too much is made of the medal table. Some expect New Zealand to better their last Games totals, but all countries are trying to do that, standards keep improving, so it is very competitive.

Coverage has been mixed. A lot of it is very good but TVNZ’s need to advertise a lot is annoying, and their choice of sports shown can be very annoying. More than once I have found that the final I want to watch with new Zealanders competing is either not being broadcast, or is only available streamed – and sometimes when I have tried to stream I haaven’t been able to without having a log in. Bloody annoying.

Stuff has had a good Live page for keeping track of coverage – far better than the awful TVNZ website. It’s not up yet for today but they have a summary of New Zealanders in action:

Rugby Sevens
1.21pm: Women’s semifinal (New Zealand v England)
1,43pm: Men’s semifinal (New Zealand v England)
3.55pm or 4.42pm: Women’s bronze or gold medal match
4.17pm or 5,05pm: Women’s bronze or gold medal match

11am: Men’s bronze medal match (Tall Blacks v Scotland)

2pm: Women’s doubles final (Joelle King, Amanda Landers-Murphy v India)

1.02pm: Women’s bronze medal match (New Zealand v Jamaica)

Unexpected golds are gold at Games

There was a pair of very good results yesterday at the Commonwealth Games.

Linda Villumsen backed up her gold four years ago with a silver this time in the women’s cycling Individual Time Trial, losing to the favourite, an Aussie. This result wasn’t unexpected.

Hamish Bond was a bit of an unknown quantity in the men’s Individual Time Trial, after a switch to cycling from rowing, but hopes were quite high. Bond held the fastest time for a while, but got beaten by an Aussie (favourite again) and an Englishman. A great result given Bond’s rookie status.

The biggest surprise came in the women’s hammer throw, with Julia Ratcliffe rated a possible chance but up against three more favoured competitors.

It was good that TV talking heads didn’t talk up expectations and be presumptuous about success, as they have in some other events – over confidence and the commentator kiss of death nearly undid Tom Walsh in the shot put.

Sport can be unpredictable, as it was in the hammer throw.

Ratcliffe handled her nerves and threw very well.

Event favourites, an Englishwoman and a Canadian, bombed out after being disqualified for fouling three times. And another Canadian and Commonwealth record-holder was not up to her best and finished fourth.

So a great gold medal to Ratcliffe – and good to see her ahead of two Aussies. A relative unknown in athletics, Radcliffe won silver at the last Commonwealth Games.

Today the Silver Ferns have to lift themselves in a crucial game against England if they are to rescue themselves from disaster. They need to win to progress to the playoffs.


4 golds, 2 silvers, but a lesson for Walsh

Some good results from the Commonwealth Games yesterday (but a warning about counting your medals before they are won):

World Champion Tom Walsh won gold in the men’s shot put to claim New Zealand’s second medal of the track and field competition – beating the next closest by 20cm.

New Zealand weightlifter David Liti won a gold medal with a Commonwealth Games record total of 403kg combined for his snatch and clean and jerk.

Paraswimmer Sophie Pascoe won her second gold at the Commonwealth Games in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:18:09.

Joelle King has won a gold medal in squash, beating England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in five games.

Paul Coll took the silver medal in the men’s final, losing out to England’s James Willstrop in three games, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.

Para athlete Holly Robinson won silver in the women’s javelin with a personal best throw of 43.32m.

Good on them. The Silver Ferns also won – but still have to beat England to get through to the semi-finals.

But none of this is easy. Sophie Pascoe was talked up but only just won her race – competition is tough, something TV talking heads don’t give sufficient consideration to.

And hopefully Tom Walsh learned a valuable lesson after winning the shoot put by a fairly slim margin. He struggled for form, in large part due to the pressure he put on himself, aided by a media too keen to claim prizes before they are earned

Talking up a win as a foregone conclusion, and boasting about being able to knock off a world record, are not good preparation for Games final. Walsh admits he tried too hard and things didn’t work smoothly for him.

Commonwealth Games coverage

I’m enjoying the Commonwealth Games (apart from the netball but I’m not a great fan of that anyway). There is plenty of sport to choose from, and we get a rare chance to watch sports that aren’t usually covered.

The Gold Coast 2018 website is good, it’s easy to find the sports scheduled and they usually have up to date progress and results.

TVNZ has the television rights here. It is a bit disjointed, with coverage on channel 1 on both Freeview, but then it gets complicated.

You can watch it on Sky on channel 1 (TV1), 23 (Duke) and 59 (TVNZ extra).

And on Freeview satellite it’s 1 (TV1), 13 (Duke), and 14 (Games extra).

The TVNZ website has it all linked, including streaming channels : Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Like the 1 News website it isn’t a great experience but does the job.

So far the track cycling has been excellent. There have been smatterings of other New Zealand involvement as well, like netball and hockey. I found the end of the women’s bowls singles streamed last night, that was a good finish.

I watched quite a bit of the men’s 20 km walk yesterday, they look so unnatural. Following that was the women’s walk, for some reason they don’t look as bad – and the finish of that race was quite moving – I get a bit excited at sport at times but rarely get emotional (watching Eliza McCartney was a rare exception at Rio in 2016).

Kiwi Alana Barber started the walking race vying for the lead with an Aussie, and then two other Aussies got involved. One Aussie dropped off, but the other two were too strong for Barber and put a sizeable lead on her. They kept swapping the lead until one started to pull ahead with 2-3 km to go – and then got her third red car and was eliminated. She was obviously distraught. Her country woman went on to win the gold.

Barber hung on to be a clear second – and it was joyful to see her happiness to cross the line for a silver. The gold winning Aussie, the disqualified Aussie and Barber all shared emotional hugs, it was quite moving, and the same when a Welsh woman came in third.

TVNZ are generally doing a reasonable job with their coverage, but a negative is their frequent overstatements. New Zealand has not had rushes of medals or medals raining on us, we’ve been getting a few but it’s nowhere as dramatic as some of them make out.

There’s a lot more to go through Sunday. The next few days will be crap weather so a good opportunity to make the most of it all.

Some of it goes a bit late, but generally the two hour time difference works out quite well.

Aussie cricket coach Lehmann resigning after all

A couple of days ago there were reports that Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann would resign in the wake of the ball tampering scandal while in South Africa.

Yesterday, after the scandal escalated with confirmation that sand paper rather than sticky tape was used, and the tamperer, the captain and the vice captain were all given lengthy bans, Lehmann was cleared of being involved and said he would stay as coach.

SMH: ‘I need to change’: Tearful Lehmann looks to New Zealand as model

Tears welling in his eyes, head cricket coach Darren Lehmann has pledged that the Australian team will change and so will he.

The Australian head coach has overseen a team with a hard and uncomprising edge that has been pilloried around the cricket world and at home, even before their crash last Saturday to an all-time low.

On Wednesday, there was softness as Lehmann stressed that the “human side” of the ball-tampering controversy needed to be understood, pleading for the culprits to be given a second chance.

The crying shame of it all is that it has taken such a terrible episode, tarnishing careers and changing lives, for Lehmann and what is left of the side to look themselves in the mirror.

The coach has endorsed an attitude of stretching the limits of what is considered acceptable, content to win ugly if that is what it takes. Headbutting “the line”, as they liked to say. It was an approach that was the poisonous foundation for what took place at Newlands.

That is all over. Winning, suddenly, isn’t all that matters. They are putting a line through the line.

“I need to change,” Lehmann said.

“We need to change how we play and within the boundaries we play. Obviously previously we’ve butted heads on the line but that’s not the way to go about us playing cricket moving forward.

“We have to try and win the public back now and play the type of cricket that they expect us to play. We have to look at how we go about that, as a coach and support staff and playing group, and make the game better for everyone to play and enjoy watching us play.”

But a day later Lehmann has announced he will stand down after the fourth and last test against South Africa (that starts tonight).

SMH:  Darren Lehmann quits as coach of the Australian cricket team

An emotional Lehmann announced on Thursday that the fourth Test against South Africa would be his last in charge.

He said he had made the decision to resign after watching Steve Smith’s gut-wrenching press conference in Sydney as well as Cameron Bancroft fronting the media in Perth.

“The feeling is that Australian cricket needs to move forward and this is the right thing to do,” Lehmann said.

“My family and I have copped a lot of abuse over the last week and it’s taken its toll. Life on the road means a long time away from our loved ones and after speaking with them at length over the last few days, this is the right time to step away.

“I’m ultimately responsible for the culture of the team and I’ve been thinking about my position for a while. Despite telling media yesterday that I’m not resigning, after viewing Steve and Cameron’s hurting, it’s only fair that I make this decision.

“This will allow Cricket Australia to undertake a full review into the culture of the team to begin to implement changes to regain the trust of the Australian public. This is the right thing for cricket.”

I think this was inevitable. Lehmann is ultimately responsible for the ugly win by any means culture that had re-established itself under his guidance.

It will be a tough test for the Baggy Greens, without their captain and vice captain, without both their opening batsmen, without their two best batsmen. And with a coach rocked by the scandal and how it played out this week, and a team in upheaval.

There were awful scenes from the airport as Steve Smith left South Africa. He has disgraced himself but didn’t deserve to be treated so poorly.

It will be interesting to see the attitude the South African team takes on to the pitch, and how the crowd will treat the Australians in the outfield. They may wish they were in the outback.

Australian cricket cheating – interim aftermath

Cricket Australia has just announced that they have stood down captain Steve Smith, vice captain David Warner and ball tamperer Cameron Bancroft for the rest of the South African tour. As the tour  is just about over one could wonder if this is just an interim step. News reports coming in say “heavy sanctions to follow”.

SMH: Smith, Warner and Bancroft sent home, heavy sanctions to follow

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be sent home from South Africa after being reported by Cricket Australia and they are facing “significant sanctions,” CA’s chief executive James Sutherland said.

It will be another 24 hours until the penalties against players are handed down due to an ongoing investigation but Sutherland indicated CA would come down hard.

He said it had been established that only three players had prior knowledge of the ball-tampering episode. He also denied that coach Darren Lehmann was resigning.

Despite news reports that coach Darren Lehmann would resign that hasn’t happened (yet), the investigation found that he was not in on the ball tampering scheme. That may clear him of direct involvement, but it raises questions about his authority and the team culture if players tried to cheat without his knowledge.

There has been a big rift in the team over this.

SMH: Players turn on David Warner as ball-tampering crisis rips team apart

The ball-tampering crisis that has brought Australian cricket to its knees turned nuclear on Tuesday night with players turning on David Warner amid claims that the deposed vice-captain may never play for his country again.

The deposed vice-captain removed himself from the team’s WhatsApp group in the midst of the unprecedented drama. Warner and Steve Smith, who were both facing losing their leadership roles as well as having bans imposed for their part in the cheating plot, walked through Cape Town airport surrounded by hordes of television cameras and reporters.

Fairfax Media reported exclusively on Monday night that Warner had emerged as the central character in the affair, with suggestions he was the primary figure behind the ill-fated decision for Cameron Bancroft to use a piece of yellow tape to try and alter the condition of the ball during the third Test.

Sources close to Warner had denied that he was the instigator, saying the whole team were aware of the plans, including Australia’s fast bowlers. Their belief was that if one or two players were to go down over the controversy, then all should.

Senior fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, as well as the team’s most capped player, Nathan Lyon, had distanced themselves from knowledge of the ploy soon after Smith’s claim after the day’s play on Saturday that the decision had been made by the “leadership group”.

The major disharmony between Warner and others in the team has led to suggestions from prominent figures within the game that he may never play for the country. Sources say that players do not want to set foot on the field with him again.

Warner had previously been the team’s appointed ball manager in the field, but after gaining attention for wearing a bandage over his hand and fingers in Port Elizabeth in the previous match, the task was then left to junior team member Bancroft, who was deemed less likely to go under the microscope of the operators of the local television broadcaster’s 30 cameras.

This is serious embarrassing for cricket in Australia. Smith and Warner would appear to have stuffed their careers, and also the future of Bancroft.

And this will hang over the team for a long time.

In wake of cricket cheating Australia capitulate, captain suspended

In the wake of the ball tampering cheating scandal the Australian cricket team has been under barrage from scathing criticism from around the world, not the least from their own country.

The Australian Sports Commission:

The ASC condemns cheating of any form in sport. The ASC expects and requires that Australian teams and athletes demonstrate unimpeachable integrity in representing our country.

Given the admission by Australian captain Steve Smith, the ASC calls for him to be stood down immediately by Cricket Australia, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball.

This can occur while Cricket Australia completes a full investigation.


Yesterday team captain Steve Smith admitted being involved in planning the ball tampering with a ‘leadership team’ but said he would not stand down. After pressure and a change of heart he and vice captain David Warner “have agreed to stand down for the remainder of the test”

A letter from Cricket Australia:

This (and more scathing criticism, including from past Australian captains) will have no doubt been on the minds of the team still involved in the third test in South Africa. With the series level 1-1, Australia were in a difficult position. Chasing 430 runs in the last innings they got to 57 before losing a wicket (the cheater Bancroft was run out), but from there the team capitulated, losing all ten wickets for fifty runs to be all out on 107, to lose the test by 322 runs.

From Cricinfo:

Tim Paine: “it’s been a horrible 24 hours and I’d like to take the opportunity to apologise to our fans. From a cricket perspective, today was extremely disappointing, the way we folded in that last 45 minutes. It’s been a real challenge for us, we need to turn ourselves into the cricket team we want to be.”

The Man of the Man is Morne Morkel: “I’m a little emotional at the moment, but what an afternoon of cricket. We asked the guys to give it all. I was hoping I could deliver something special. For me, the best thing was to keep working hard on my fitness and hope to get the opportunity. I got the nod and knew I needed to put my hand up as a senior bowler.”

Aniket : “Deliciously fitting that in a match (and series so far) marred with unsavory behaviour and abuse/sledging, a fast bowler who has never felt the need to mouth off/give ugly send offs under the guise of aggression wins the man of the match award. “

Following the match the ICC has suspended Smith (but not Bancroft): Smith suspended by ICC for fourth Test, Bancroft escapes ban

The International Cricket Council has suspended Steve Smith for a Test match over the ball-tampering furore in South Africa, ensuring that Tim Paine will continue to lead the disgraced team for the final leg of the series in Johannesburg.

The crisis confronting the Australian team yesterday forced Smith and David Warner to sensationally stand down from the captaincy and vice-captaincy for the rest of the third Test as Paine took over.

Hours later, the ICC announced that it had found Smith guilty of being “party to a decision to attempt to change the condition of the ball in order to gain an unfair advantage”. He was also fined 100 per cent of his match fee. Cameron Bancroft, who used yellow tape to tamper with the ball on Saturday after a plot devised at the lunch break, was spared a ban.

ICC chief executive David Richardson laid the charge against Smith, describing his conduct as of a “serious nature that is contrary to the spirit of the game”.

“The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore ‘serious’ in nature.”

As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended.

Bancroft received three demerit points, one less than Smith and one short of the amount that triggers a suspension, and was fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

Bancroft was put in an invidious position by Smith and other senior players, but is lucky to have escaped a ban.

But the pressure continues for more drastic repercussions.

SMH: ‘Zero tolerance’: Steve Smith’s Rajasthan Royals contract in jeopardy

The Telegraph: Australia’s cricket elite demand dismissals of Steve Smith and David Warner to save Baggy Green status following ball-tampering scandal

Australia’s cricketing aristocracy rounded on their Test side in the wake of the cheating scandal which has convulsed the nation.

“It’s hard to see how Steve Smith can continue as Australia captain and it’s hard to see how David Warner continues as vice-captain,” said former fast bowler Jason Gillespie.

There was also incredulity from Michael Clarke, Smith’s predecessor as captain, about how Cameron Bancroft had been leant on to do the dirty work.

“I can’t believe they have got the young kid playing in only his eighth Test to do that. As a leader, you can’t ask somebody to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself. You can see that Smith is shattered.”

Simon Katich, the former opening batsman, argued that James Sutherland, Cricket Australia chief executive, had no choice, after Smith’s acknowledgement that the entire “leadership group” had been complicit in tampering, to sack the captain, as well as coach Darren Lehmann and vice-captain Warner.

“This was premeditated and calculated, and those guys are in charge of Bancroft behaving the way he did. I love Steve Smith, but he has made a serious error and I think it is going to cost him the captaincy of Australia. If Cricket Australia condone blatant cheating, then the message they send to the thousands of kids who aspire to wear the Baggy Green is far worse than a few guys losing their jobs.”

Former captain Allan Border was clear that Smith should be prepared to lose his job on a permanent basis.

“If the ICC and the Australian board decide that Steve Smith is free to play in the fourth Test, I would be comfortable with that. But equally, if he has to pay a penalty for his leadership in going down this path, I would be just as comfortable.”

So the cheating scandal looks far from over – it will never be over, it will be remembered for a long time. And the Australian team has to somehow prepare themselves for the fourth test.

A fascinating game of cricket

Today’s one day match between England has taken a few swings, and is heading for an exciting finish.

England’s innings started with a rush and the Black Caps struggled. It looked like England could get close to 400, but they had a major mid order collapse, and they got to 335 with a big last over.

The Black Caps had a terrible start to their innings, with both openers going for a duck.

Williamson and Taylor slowly got things in order and progressed well, albeit falling behind the required rate. Then Williamson was unlucky to be ruled out.

In came Latham, and he and Taylor gradually progressed to innings to keep the Black Caps in the match, and then accelerated.

A couple of hiccups, with Taylor injuring himself so he could only hobble, and then Latham holed out, but he had 71 runs, and helped Taylor to a record score of (currently) 155 not out with a game rescuing 187 run partnership.

de Grandhomme has joined Taylor and has started with a rush, currently 22 runs off 8 balls, putting the Black Caps in with a real chance now with 36runs required off 34 balls.

That was tense. Down to the last over, a six to Nicholls to seal a record run chase and a win to remain unbeaten at the Oval in Dunedin.

Taylor was the stand out performer, 181 not out.