Amelia Kerr shines for Wellington Blaze on comeback in HBJ Shield

Allround Amelia Kerr helps New Zealand register a thrilling win in the final T20I; Australia take series 2-1
Maddy Green's half-century and a brilliant five-wicket haul from Amelia Kerr, who was returning from sabbatical, helped Wellington Blaze start their Hallyburton Johnston Shield campaign with a 39-run win against defending champions Canterbury Magicians on Saturday (November 6) at Rangiora.

Opting to bat first against Magicians, Blaze were off to a great start, thanks to their openers Rebecca Burns and Jess McFayden. They added 94 runs for the first wicket before Burns got out for 47 runs from 59 balls. McFayden fell shortly after for a 69-ball 40. On her first game after the mental health break, Kerr could not do much with the bat. The allrounder was dismissed by Amy Satterthwaite for 15 runs.

Blaze's skipper Maddy Green, however, kept the innings going. She built partnerships with Georgia Plimmer and Leigh Kasperek, taking the team to 167 for eight in 50 overs. Green finished with an unbeaten 87 runs from 75 balls. For Magicians, the stand-in skipper Satterthwaite starred with the ball, taking two wickets for 41 runs.

Chasing a competitive total, Magicians did not have their premium batter Kate Ebrahim, who had moved to Otago Sparks in the pre-season. With Frances Mackay missing the game, Magicians lost both their openers early.

Satterthwaite struck a partnership with Abigale Gerken, but it did not last long as the latter got out to Kasperek. The skipper tried to keep Magicians in the chase with Jacinta Savage. They added 103 runs for the fourth wicket, but Kerr came to Blaze's rescue, getting rid of Savage for 40 runs from 59 balls.

The allrounder followed it up with the big wicket of Satterthwaite in her next over. Though Kirsty Nation played a fighting knock at one end, Kerr ran through the lower-order, restricting Magicians to 228 for nine in 50 overs. She took five wickets for just 40 runs in her ten overs, helping Blaze win by 39 runs.

Brief Scores:

Wellington Blaze 267/8 in 50 overs (Maddy Green 87*; Amy Satterthwaite 2/41) beat Canterbury Magicians 228/9 in 50 overs (Amy Satterthwaite 87; Amelia Kerr 5/40) by 39 runs.