“Today it paid off, but we had every confidence in the young lads who came in and they showed they could do a job.”
So said Steve Patterson after the Yorkshire pace bowler captured career-best figures of 6-56 last week against Durham.
The comments summed up Patterson to a tee; not only did he play down his own contribution, but he also deflected praise on to Yorkshire’s “young lads” – specifically fellow pace bowlers Josh Shaw and Ben Coad, both of whom were making their Championship debuts for the club.
Granted, Shaw and Coad played their part as Durham were dismissed for 172 in the first innings at Chester-le-Street.
Shaw returned 2-38 from 10 overs, while Coad also conceded only 38 runs from his 17 overs.
But the hero of the hour was Patterson.
It was primarily due to his efforts that the hosts failed to collect even a single batting point.
It was not so much the timbre of Patterson’s performance but the timing of it that was significant.
How Yorkshire needed him with six bowlers missing to a combination of injuries and international calls-ups.
Ryan Sidebottom (ankle), Jack Brooks (quad) and Matthew Fisher (hamstring) were injured, while Liam Plunkett, David Willey and Adil Rashid were on one-day international duty.
It left only Patterson and Tim Bresnan as experienced members of the Yorkshire attack.
Ironically, Patterson’s previous career-best figures came in not dissimilar circumstances.
When he took 5-11 against Worcestershire at the start of the 2015 season, Yorkshire were without six men due to England’s tour of the West Indies.
Small wonder that Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire captain, describes Patterson as one of the first names on the team-sheet.
Week-in, week-out, Patterson just goes about his business with a minimum of fuss. He is Yorkshire’s Mr Reliable.
In recent years, the 32-year-old has performed an increasingly vital role for the county.
Indeed, when they come to write the history of this period of Yorkshire cricket, Patterson’s role in it should shine like a beacon.
Since 2010, when he effectively became a first-team regular after a long battle to reach that stage, Patterson has been a model of consistency.
That 2010 campaign marked something of a breakthrough for the Beverley-born man.
He took 45 wickets at 26.68 as Yorkshire so nearly won the Championship in Gale’s first summer in charge, the club finishing third after a batting collapse on the final day of the season against Kent at Headingley.
Patterson suffered with injuries in 2011, when he took 21 first-class wickets at 46.33, but he was back with a bang the following year, capturing 53 wickets at 21.03 to help Yorkshire to promotion.
Fifty-one wickets followed in 2013 at an average of 23.47, a year in which Yorkshire finished runners-up to Durham, and Patterson captured 39 first-class wickets in 2014 at 26.69 and 47 last year at 24.93 as the club secured back-to-back titles.
This year, he already has 27 wickets at 21.81. He is, quite simply, an outstanding cricketer.