Pattinson takes six but NSW coast home
New South Wales 6 for 189 (D Smith 62, Khawaja 56, Pattinson 6-48) beat Victoria 188 (Hastings 38, Starc 3-36) by four wickets
Peter Siddle showed few ill effects in his comeback from a hamstring injury, but his efforts were overshadowed by a trio of teenagers who might one day challenge him for an international berth. The New South Wales opening duo of Mitchell Starc (3 for 36) and Josh Hazlewood (2 for 22) contained Victoria to a modest 188, and despite the record-breaking feats of the Bushrangers' James Pattinson (6 for 48), the Blues rolled to a four-wicket Ford Ranger Cup victory.
Australia's selectors had cause to believe Christmas had arrived two days early at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with fast bowlers present and future revelling in the seam-friendly conditions. Siddle's hopes of a Boxing Day recall received a boost after he completed 10 overs across three spells, hitting a top speed in excess of 140kph and at one stage striking Usman Khawaja a nasty blow to the ribs.
But while Siddle's eventual reward was economy (0 for 40), his teenage counterpart, Pattinson, proved decidedly more prolific. Playing just his third domestic 50-over match for Victoria, Pattinson claimed the first six New South Wales wickets to fall, including those of Ben Rohrer and Steven Smith in consecutive balls. His figures were the best ever by a Victorian in domestic limited-overs cricket, breaking Graeme Watson's 40-year-old record, and the seventh best in Australian List A history.
Using the hard, lively Sydney surface to full effect, the 19-year-old single-handedly drew Victoria back into a contest their batsman appeared to have conceded earlier in the day when rolled well inside their allotment of 50 overs. Pattinson accounted for the internationally capped trio of David Warner, Phil Jaques and Moises Henriques before the tenth over, and despite claiming three more wickets later in the innings, a lack of bowling support ensured the Blues victory with five overs to spare.
"We spoke about getting the ball ... nice and full early on," Pattinson said. "That's what Josh Hazlewood did for them. He bowled one of the best spells of bowling I've ever seen. My aim was just to get them driving."
With many more performances like this, Pattinson could well find himself occupying an obscure place in the history books. Only once before have brothers represented two different Test teams (Alec and George Hearne represented England, while Frank played for South Africa in the late 19th century), and following the England debut of his elder sibling, Darren, last year, the Pattinsons could double the membership of the exclusive club.
Pattinson was not the only teenager to excel at the SCG on Wednesday. Hazlewood, his Australian under-19 teammate, was unplayable for much of his spell, swinging the ball away from the right-handers and seaming it back in. His figures may well have been bolstered had the Blues held their catches, but his efforts would have nonetheless impressed a national selection panel attempting to navigate their way through a fast bowling injury crisis.
Hazlewood's opening partner, Starc, proved similarly impressive. A towering left-armer at 1.96m, Starc troubled the Victorian batsmen from the outset to claim three wickets - including that of Andrew McDonald to a diving Rohrer catch that may well have been the best of the season. The efforts of NSW's bowlers set-up a relatively comfortable run-chase, Pattinson notwithstanding, which was sealed with half-centuries to Daniel Smith (62 not out) and Khawaja (56).
Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo