HEATH Behrens stamped himself as one of the Bendigo District Cricket Association's all-time greats in round two of the league's centenary season on Saturday. The star Bendigo United Cricket Club batsman scored an unbeaten 249, eclipsing the league's highest individual first-XI score.
With three BDCA double centuries to his name, the 24-year-old Bradman of the bush must now be rated one of the best players in the history of Bendigo's premier cricketing competition. The classy left-hander went to the crease with his team precariously placed at 1-1, and withstood the 38 degree temperatures to steer BUCC to victory over Huntly-North Bendigo at Atkins Street Reserve.
He batted for five hours and three minutes, facing only 260 balls, 45 of which were hit for four.
Despite his marathon effort, Behrens was yesterday playing down his achievement.
"It was very warm out in the middle, but they were good batting conditions," he said.
"As soon as the ball was through the infield it just ran away straight to the fence.
"And, the pitch has always been one the best tracks in Bendigo, it's just so hard and flat."
Behrens was moving quite freely yesterday and showed no signs of being fatigued.
Behrens also rewrote the league's highest partnership record, teaming with skipper Nick Crawford for a 320-run stand, surpassing the previous mark of 314 by Harcourt's Ron Porter and Gibson Pritchard back in 1928-29. Bendigo cricketing legend John Turner, was also full of praise for Behrens' innings.
"To get 249 not out, in oppressive heat showed the steely resolve from within him," Turner said.
Behrens' record speaks for itself. He has notched up a score of more than 200 on three occasions and has been unbeaten during all of them.
"You don't make the high scores and remain not out without great talent and ability," Turner said.
Bendigo United finished the day with a total of 3-394 in reply to Huntly-North Bendigo's 303.