Bradshaw sets high standard
MATT Bradshaw considered himself a bowling all-rounder before this year's Ballina Under-13 Cricket Carnival, but he may have to revise his opinion now.
The FNC Heat player cracked 41 to help his side start this year's tournament with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Toowoomba yesterday.
Just to show he's still a threat with the ball, Bradshaw also took two wickets to stake an early claim for the man-of-the-tournament award.
The 12-year-old Casino player cut a proud figure after the match, with his efforts helping the Heat take a step further to potential silverware.
"It's probably up there with the best innings I have played," he said.
"I was a bit nervous at first as it's a big tournament.
"Once I got the first 20 balls out of the way and I hit a couple of fours, I was away. I might get a man-of-match award now. It feels good."
Batting first in the 50-over clash at Alstonville's Geoff Watt Oval, Toowoomba struggled to make a competitive total in the face of some excellent bowling by the Heat attack.
Bradshaw finished with 2-7 from his five overs, while Zayd Thomas and Alex Battise also chipped in with a couple of wickets apiece.
The Queenslanders were dismissed for 117 in the 45th over.
"We bowled really well," Bradshaw, who plays for the Richmond Valley side in the FNC inter-district competition, said. "We forced them into playing some bad shots."
The Heat's response was built on the bedrock of solid batting from Bradshaw and wicket keeper Cameron Palmer, who struck 37.
"We bowled, batted and fielded well, and we didn't drop our catches," Bradshaw said. "If we can keep this up, then we can get into the semi-finals."
FNC Heat takes on Central Coast at Alstonville's Hill Park Oval today (9.30pm start).
The five-day tournament, which features 16 teams from across the state, runs until Friday.