Australian players in the counties July 22, 2008

Victoria's Pattinson in shock England call

Cricinfo staff


Unexpected sight: Darren Pattinson in England clothes © Getty Images
 

This column aims to discuss Australian players in England's contributions to the counties, but little did we expect that this week we would be featuring someone's feats for the country itself. As if Darren Pattinson's call-up to England's long list for the Champions Trophy wasn't enough, he was then handed a shock Test debut which caused controversy up and down the land.

The problem in some eyes wasn't that he grew up in another country - after all, so did Kevin Pietersen - but that he hadn't exactly pledged his allegiance to England nor had he much first-class experience (11 heading into Headingley). People were also quick to point out Pattinson's younger brother, James, plays for Australia Under-19s and their dad said his son was Australian. Darren, born in Grimsby, nevertheless got the nod.

Also, there were sniffs that Matthew Hoggard had been overlooked on his home ground, while Steve Harmison, Chris Tremlett and Saj Mahmood would have been justified in feeling a touch snubbed.

Pattinson took two wickets in South Africa's only innings but will have to see if this horses-for-courses selection goes the distance when the squad is announced for the third Test at Edgbaston. If not, he will shrug his shoulders and finally get the trip to Alton Towers he had promised his family prior to the surprise call.

But one player who will be kicking his heels on Tuesday evening is Jason Gillespie after Glamorgan opted not to risk him in their Twenty20 quarter-final. The side were brought in to play Michael Di Venuto's Durham following the debacle which saw Yorkshire exit the trophy aftet fielding an ineligible player. Glamorgan don't want to risk being ineligible for the big-money Champions Trophy through playing an ICL player like Gillespie.

Speaking of Di Venuto, he helped Durham to move to the top of the Championship table with a ten-wicket win over Surrey at Guildford. Surrey appeared to be well on course towards batting their way to a draw as they reached 261 for 3, but lost their last seven wickets fell for 62. Set 134 in 45 overs, Durham wasted no time Di Venuto (57*) laid into a listless Surrey attack along with Mark Stoneman (60*), the duo reaching their target with more than ten overs in hand. Di Venuto had made 10 in the first innings.

Justin Langer had led Somerset top earlier in the day when they completed a 246-run win against Kent at Taunton but their stay was to prove brief. The ever-reliable Langer made a fifty in both innings to set the home side well on their way, and was 12 short of a century in the second innings when he was caught behind for the second time in the match.

First place could all change again in the next round as it's still tight at the top with nine points separating the leaders and fifth-placed Lancashire, Stuart Law's side. Pattinson and Adam Voges's Nottinghamshire are in fourth, eight points behind and both have a game in hand on the top three.

Meanwhile, Sean Ervine could do little to stop Hampshire sliding to a ten-wicket defeat at the hands of champions Sussex at Arundel. He hit 17 in the first innings and 14 when they followed on.

In the lower division, Jason Gillespie was also on the wrong end of a ten-wicket result, when Glamorgan sank against Worcestershire at Worcester. Gillespie failed to penetrate the Worcestershire attack in neither his 28 first-innings over nor his five second time out. Chris Rogers' second century of the season forced stalemate between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire at Northampton and more than made up for his first-innings 1.

The highlight of the opening week of the Pro40 competition, yet another domestic tournament, was Adam Voges' run-a-ball 85 to put Nottinghamshire beyond the reach of a subdued Hampshire at Trent Bridge, as they eased to a comfortable 31-run victory. He made 64 not out earlier in the week to beat Worcestershire at Worcester, a match in which Pattinson also took two wickets.

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