Ben Patterson, NSW Country still in search of ‘perfect game’ after Twenty20 win

NUMBER ONE: Ben Patterson (kneeling, second from left) with his Twenty20 Country Championship winning Bush Blues. Photo: CRICKET AUS PATHWAY TWITTER
NUMBER ONE: Ben Patterson (kneeling, second from left) with his Twenty20 Country Championship winning Bush Blues. Photo: CRICKET AUS PATHWAY TWITTER

Dubbo’s Ben Patterson has helped his NSW Country side to glory in the Twenty20 competition at the Australian Country Championships.

The Newtown Tigers paceman claimed 3-15 in Saturday’s T20 final over Queensland Country, the Bush Blues prevailing by 25 runs.

But Patterson said he was yet to produce “that perfect game of cricket”.

“It’s been okay. I’m definitely critical of my own performances but I think I’ve been okay,” he said.

“I’ve been average and I can definitely contribute more and that’s all I’m looking to do, is play that perfect game of cricket.”

Patterson had a slow start to the carnival, taking 0-14 and 0-16 and scoring 12 and 19 runs in the Bush Blues’ day one wins over Western Australia and Victoria.

But on Saturday his ability with both bat and ball was on show and he contributed in back-to-back wins over Queensland. Figures of 3-28 from just four overs, a catch and 22 runs off 19 balls in the morning was followed by that 3-15 in Saturday afternoon’s final.

“It was pretty intense, it was a State of Origin set-up,” Patterson said.

“It was a low-scoring final and the pressure was there from ball one so it was awesome to come out on top.”

On Sunday the tournament switched to the longer, one-day form of the game, and Patterson continued to hit his straps.

Despite a loss to South Australia in Sunday’s one-dayer, Patterson recorded figures of 2-29 before top-scoring for the Bush Blues, hitting 32 runs off 35 balls.

“I think my processes have been a lot better since coming to the carnival and I think it’s paying dividends – especially in the longer format and especially with the bat,” he said.

“I think it was just digging in on a tough wicket.”

By Monday’s bye he boasted a batting average of 17.6, and a strike rate with the ball of 17.3.

He backed the Bush Blues to take out the one-day section of the tournament, saying pacemen Scott Burkinshaw (8-59), Cameron Suidgeest (6-73), Tom O’Neill (0-29), Adrian Chad (4-54), Caleb Ziebal (3-48) and himself (8-102) were the key.

“As long as our quicks stay nice and fit, the championship’s ours,” Patterson said.

“Looking at the standard of the other teams we are definitely the benchmark, we are all motivated to find that perfect game of cricket and it’s getting better each game.”

He admitted the longer form of the game posed a greater challenge for the bowlers “workload-wise”, and allowed batters “more time to adjust to the conditions”.

“But it’s what we do. At this level, it’s a lifestyle,” Patterson said.

“It’s maintaining our discipline, keeping up with those one percenters, doing all the little things right and the big things will come.”

And he’s loving the experience.

“It has exceeded my expectations with skill and stuff, but I’m really enjoying it,” Patterson said.

“The team gelled from day one and it’s a really good environment for us to walk on the field and not have the stress of anything outside what we’re trying to do.

“It’s been awesome – a very good experience.”