BENDIGO United batsman Heath Behrens has drawn level with Wayne Walsh for the most centuries in Bendigo District Cricket Association history after scoring his 24th ton on Saturday.
On the day Bendigo United celebrated its 160th anniversary reunion, Behrens drew level with Walsh’s record of 24 centuries by plundering an unbeaten 115 against the team he has scored his most hundreds against – Sandhurst.
Behrens century led the Redbacks to a score of 6-254 in their one-day match at J.L. King Weeroona Oval, before dismissing the Dragons for 210.
Of Behrens’ 24 centuries, he has scored eight against Sandhurst, including his first back in round 10 of the 1998-99 season when he made 136.
The 34-year-old’s record includes three double centuries, with Strathdale-Maristians remaining the only team Behrens, who debuted in 1994, hasn’t scored a hundred against.
Behrens made his 24th century in what is his 19th season, while Walsh – now the BDCA president – played 25 years with Eaglehawk and Golden Square in scoring his 24 tons.
“Walshy is a legend of cricket, so to be able to sit alongside him with a record like this is obviously an honour,” Behrens said yesterday.
“Equalling a record like this is something that I will look back on at the end of my career, but what was the most pleasing thing about today was that the boys played well and we got the win.”
Behrens’ 115 n.o. was his second century of the season – he made 145 n.o. against Bendigo in round four – and took his tally of runs to a competition-best 600 at an average of 66.7.
He started his innings in the ninth over with the score 1-32 when opener Matt Pinniger (23 off 27) was dismissed by Rhys Smith (1-34).
He faced 102 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes – both pull shots off Quinton Bentley (0-61) off the last two balls of the innings.
Behrens brought up his record-equalling century with a late cut off spinner Matthew Pask for three off the fifth ball of the 44th over.
Through his innings, Behrens shared in partnerships of 66 for the fourth wicket with Joel Spry (28 off 42), and 65 for the fifth wicket with Harry Donegan (39 off 34).
Pask (2-46) was the only multiple wicket-taker for Sandhurst.
The Dragons’ score of 210 in reply included 79 from captain Nick Scullie.
However, Scullie caught the Redbacks by surprise when, after the 38th over with the score on 6-200, the opener retired to go to a wedding.
Scullie faced 97 balls and hit six boundaries, with the Dragons still in with some chance of chasing the score before he retired, but the last three wickets then fell for just 10.
The next best of the Dragons’ batsmen was Bentley, who made the most of his elevation up the order to No.5 by making a quickfire 34 off 21.
Patrick Naughtin (3-41) had a good day with the ball for the Redbacks, claiming three lbw dismissals.
● Kangaroo Flat spoiled Strathfieldsaye veteran Greg Lyon’s 200th game for the Jets at Tannery Lane.
After restricting the Jets to 9-150 off their 45 overs, the Roos answered with 4-151.
The Roos’ Brent Hamblin (81) made his third half-century in his past four innings, but was dismissed just four runs short of victory.
Hamblin put on 106 for the third wicket with elevated opener Daniel Barber (37) after the Roos had been in trouble at 2-4 in the fourth over.
Earlier, captain Ben Gunn (35) top-scored for the Jets, while in his milestone game, Lyon was dismissed for 12 when superbly caught one-handed at gully by Brad Orton.
Hamblin (2-29), Barber (2-23) and the wily Shane Harling (2-19), who took a superb caught and bowled catch to dismiss Liam Smith (17), claimed took two wickets each for the improving Roos, who have now won back-to-back games.