29th January 1965, Ayr, Scotland
Scotland v Glamorgan, Myreside, Edinburgh, 22nd June 1988
First selected as a late replacement in the Scotland team to play Glamorgan in a Nat West Trophy tie at Myreside in 1988, Bruce Patterson kept his regular place in the side for no less than 16 years. Initially picked as a middle order bat, he was soon promoted to open the batting, forming with Iain Philip for a decade what was probably Scotland’s best ever opening duo.
One of his best innings was also one of his earliest, a swashbuckling 70 in 89 balls against an Australian attack which included Merv Hughes and Carl Rackemann. Australia also featured in May 1999, when Bruce stroked a cover drive for four to Scotland’s first ever ball faced in the World Cup Finals. New Road, Worcester, packed to capacity with mainly Scottish fans, was duly appreciative.
In all, he played 124 times for Scotland, scoring 4040 runs at an average of 31.1. These runs included five centuries and 23 fifties by a most determined batsman. Iain Philip & Bruce will be remembered for defying bowling attacks from a wide variety of teams. A particular fond memory will be the Scotland openers going in for lunch at Old Trafford to a standing ovation during a Benson & Hedges tie, having scored 143/0.
Apart from a brief period with Clydesdale, Bruce’s club career was with Ayr, where his medium paced bowling, rarely seen in representative cricket, was also of great use in addition to his prodigious batting skills.