Kerr sis­ters im­press at World Cup

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By DAVE CRAMP­TON

Tawa crick­eter Melie Kerr is not fazed by com­pet­ing against older and taller girls.

It’s the older op­po­nents who are in awe of her.

Last month the 14-year-old was the shin­ing light at the In­door World Cup in the Hutt Val­ley, be­ing named the tour­na­ment’s most valu­able player in the women’s un­der-20 di­vi­sion.

Though it was her first in­ter­na­tional event, she was named in the tour­na­ment world team of eight play­ers.

Kerr said her op­po­nents were shocked when they found out how young she was.

‘‘I had just turned 14 a few days be­fore the tour­na­ment,’’ she said.

Though the New Zealand girls beat ri­vals Aus­tralia twice ear­lier in the tour­na­ment, they couldn’t match the Aussies in the fi­nal, chas­ing 150 to win and man­ag­ing just 115.

Kerr con­trib­uted well in a 44-run open­ing part­ner­ship in the fi­nal.

Her sis­ter Jess, 16, was also in the team and both have been named in the na­tional un­der-18 squad for next year’s Ju­nior World Cup in Aus­tralia.

Kerr said she was proud to rep­re­sent her coun­try. De­spite the re­sult in the fi­nal, she said it was her most en­joy­able tour­na­ment.

‘‘I thought that I bat­ted re­ally well – prob­a­bly the best I’ve ever done in in­door cricket.

‘‘We were prob­a­bly the best bat­ting and field­ing side in the tour­na­ment – we just didn’t get enough runs.’’

The girls’ fa­ther, Rob­bie Kerr, him­self a for­mer na­tional in­door cricket rep­re­sen­ta­tive, was called in late as the team’s as­sis­tant coach and praised Melie’s per­for­mance.

‘‘It’s a tremen­dous boost for her; she has ex­ceeded all her ex­pec­ta­tions. She has got a good fu­ture ahead of her,’’ he said.

Kerr is tar­get­ing the 2017 World Cup, and aims to be­come the youngest New Zealan­der to make the na­tional team.

She hopes to be se­lected for the na­tional un­der-21 out­door cricket team, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of her grand­fa­ther, for­mer test open­ing bats­man Bruce Mur­ray.

Kerr said she had favoured the out­door game un­til re­cently but the pen­du­lum had swung to­wards the in­door game.

‘‘I’ve had more op­por­tu­ni­ties in in­door cricket,’’ she said.

Na­tional un­der-20 coach Ben Peters said Kerr was ex­cep- tion­ally tal­ented and trained hard.

He said he was con­fi­dent she would be play­ing at the top level within a few years.

All four New Zealand teams were beaten by Aus­tralian sides in the World Cup fi­nals.

But there was more good news for Tawa when Daniel Rose was also named in a tour­na­ment team – for the un­der-20 men’s grade.

Melie Kerr’s magic run con­tin­ued last week­end when she was named Col­lege Sport Wellington cricket sportswoman of the year.

Tal­ented group: Bud­ding in­door crick­eters Melie, left, and Jess Kerr with their grand­fa­ther Bruce, a for­mer test crick­eter, and their fa­ther Rob­bie.

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