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Kate Middleton proves a natural as she shows off her cricket skills in Christchurch

14 APRIL 2014 Kate Middleton stepped up to the crease and showed off her cricket skills during the royal couple's visit to Christchurch.

Still wearing her heels and her fitted red suit, the smiling Duchess took hold of a yellow cricket bat and stood in front of the wickets to go head-to-head with her husband Prince William, who tried his hand at bowling.

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It was, perhaps, a chance for William to steal a victory following his defeat to Kate in a yacht racing contest in Auckland on Friday.

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Certainly he seemed a little too keen, and sent the first ball whistling past Kate's ear, receiving a remonstrating wagging finger and a smile from his wife.

Of the four balls she faced, Kate managed to hit two, much to the delight of the crowd, who had gathered around the boundary at the 2015 Cricket World Cup event.

 

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The couple were paying a visit to the ICC Cricket World Cup countdown clock, where they met with young cricketers and watched them in action before trying their hand at the game.

"You won't see this, it will be a blur," William joked as he prepared to bowl. But Jamie Elley, 11, who faced two balls from the Duke, was less than impressed.

"He was rusty," he said. "He does too many full tosses. But the second one was good."

 



Former New Zealand bats woman Debbie Hockley, 51, gave the Duchess a few tips as she stood at the crease preparing to bat.

"I told her don't worry about technique, just smash it," she said. "She was quite nervous but she kept her eye on the ball. I thought they were great sports to take part in it. I couldn't bat in high heels."
 



Earlier in the day, William and Kate had enjoyed a public walk of Latimer Square in Christchurch, when they were warmly welcomed by the people of the city. Cheering crowds welcomed the royals as they made their way from the cardboard transitional cathedral to the cricket event.

The morning had begun poignantly, with William and Kate meeting with the families of those who had lost their lives in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. They had also visited the CTV Building memorial, and each laid a stone as a tribute to the 185 victims.
 

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