Hayden Kerr is one of Australian cricket’s rising stars but a major milestone was dashed by a man he knows very well.
Hayden Kerr’s dreams of scoring a maiden first-class century were crushed by his Sydney Sixers teammate Jackson Bird just five balls into the second day of NSW’s match with Tasmania.
Kerr likely won’t kick himself over the missed opportunity though, especially not after former ODI quick Chris Tremain and future superstar Tanveer Sangha mercilessly ripped through the Tassie batting order to keep NSW’s foot on the accelerator.
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His steady hands with the bat got NSW home against Queensland last week, but on Saturday, Tremain set the SCG alight with the ball, returning strong figures of 5-48.
Tremain picked the baton up from Kerr, who was the hero on day one just as he was the last time he played at the SCG with the Sixers.
Without Covid-positive batting talisman Daniel Hughes to steer the ship, Kerr hoisted NSW from the outhouse (6-143 at tea) to the penthouse (8-272 at stumps) on day one. He was not out on 87 after a swashbuckling final session.
But Bird swooped on his teammate before the crowd had even taken their seats on day two and brought the Blues crashing back to earth.
In the first over of the day, the Tasmanian quick nipped the ball back in and it careened into the stumps.
Just as a century eluded him in the BBL Semi-final — the innings ended when he was unbeaten on 98 — Kerr’s hopes of posting a maiden professional ton were shattered on 88 by Bird.
The delivery not only neutralised NSW’s biggest strike weapon but effectively ended the home side’s innings. They were bowled out 12 deliveries later.
Chasing 276 to take the lead, the Taswegian top order threatened to collapse at the hands of dynamic duo Tremain and Peter Nevill.
The former Test gloveman first caught dangerous up-and-comer Tim Ward (4) from Tremain’s bowling. On the very next delivery, the pair combined with an almost identical bowl-and-caught-behind job to dispatch Eamonn Vines for a duck.
Mac Wright took it upon himself to turn the tide for the visitors. He knocked his maiden first-class half-century just before the tea break before Tremain trapped him lbw on 57. Tremain had his five-fer when he bowled Sam Rainbird.
For his part, Sangha broke the most promising partnership of the morning by sending Caleb Jewell (36) on his way and then disposed of Tom Andrews and rival spin wizard Nivethan Radhakrishnan.
After a spirited fightback from Peter Siddle (31*), Tasmania was all out for 213, 63 runs behind NSW.
NSW was 0-8 at stumps.