|Ground:||North Inch, Perth|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v Australians|
|Event:||Australia in British Isles 1921|
DateLine: 2nd February 2013
They are keen cricket-lovers the people of Perth and surrounding district, and they were present at the North Inch yesterday to the number of about 6000 to see the first day's play in the first of two matches between the Australians and Scotland.
The weather was again delightfully fine. As at Partick the Australians, who batted all afternoon, gave a stylish and sound display. The outstanding performers were H.L. Collins and W. Bardsley, and both reached their centuries in almost exactly the same time, about two hours. Bardsley's was the sounder innings. He played well all through, and the only chance he gave was to the wicket-keeper when he was in the 60's.
Collins, in comparison, was fortunate in the early part of his innings, when he gave more than one chance, one with his total at 6. Later he was most effective and most correct, and both he and Bardsley once more proved themselves to be great batsmen with quick scoring powers and terribly difficult to lodge.
R.W. Sievwright was easily Scotland's best bowler, and he got most of the work to do. Freely hit he was at times, but he always took a lot of watching and playing, and he was invariably treated with respect. There were only six maidens in the 83 overs bowled, and four of them were claimed by the Arbroath man.
The Scottish fielding was of a mixed character, but the catches by J. Kerr and D.C. Stevenson, which disposed of Collins and C.E. Pellew respectively, were exceedingly fine and well judged efforts close to the boundary.
Then both Mitchell's catches were of the thrilling order and aroused to a high pitch the enthusiasm of the crowd. It was a hard drive right into him that Mitchell, fielding at mid-on, took to dispose of T.J. Andrews, and his c. and b. which sent back E.L. Hendry was as smart a thing as was seen in the game. He fell and rolled over in taking the ball with one hand, but managed to hold on to it, to bring off what was really the catch of the day.
There was much good ground work done in the field otherwise, and in that respect none did better than G.G. Campbell and Kerr, who both saved many runs in the neighbourhood of the boundary, and did a lot of exceedingly smart picking up.
Collins and Pellew put on 103 runs between them for the second wicket, and that was the stand of the day. The latter gave a most attractive display. There was a "pep" about his batting, as the American Rotarian would say, that was lacking of some of the others, and he took far more risks.
Scotland did remarkably well to get the whole Australian side out for 422 on such a wicket. Large though the total is, it is much smaller than those made against a number of English counties, and compares favourably with the 540 made at Partick in the first match with Scotland.
Two bowlers at least met with success, and it will be for the Scottish batsmen today to show what they can do against the fast deliveries of McDonald and the slows and googlies of A.A. Mailey.
The Scottish side to play against the Australians at Edinburgh will not be fixed up till this afternoon after some of the Scottish batting has been seen. It is expected, however, to include J. Kerr, R.E. Batson, R.W. Sievwright, J.A. Fergusson, D.C. Stevenson, and G.L.D. Hole.
As at Partick, so it was at Perth, the Australian cricketers had to be satisfied with a draw. This game, which was concluded yesterday, was the first of the more important engagements in Scotland, and the second, weather permitting, will be carried through at Edinburgh today and tomorrow.
Confronted with a huge total of 422 runs, made by the Australians on Tuesday, the representatives of Scotland never looked like being beaten during the full four hours that play lasted, and at the close of the first innings the Australians realised that a win for them was out of the question.
It was quite a respectable show that the Scotsmen made, and if play was slow at times, and the score of 162 was a puny one compared with that compiled by our overseas visitors, there was satisfaction in knowing that there was never any suggestion of "funk" about the batting, and never any suspicion that there was going to be a collapse such as has so often had to be recorded in the past on "big" occasions.
And the brunt of the Australian bowling was done by Test match players, E.A. McDonald and A.A. Mailey. It was the latter's puzzling deliveries that bothered the Scotsmen more than the "expresses" of McDonald. The latter were faced with courage and effect by most of the batsmen, and not infrequently driven for 4's.
None of the batsmen made big scores, but J.W. Sorrie, J. Kerr, D.C. Stevenson, G.G. Campbell, and J.A. Fergusson all played well, and so also did T.D. Watt, who, if only getting 6 himself, usefully kept up an end while 39 runs were being made, mainly by the Perthshire man Fergusson. The fact that the opening pair, Sorrie and Kerr, stayed altogether for forty three minutes put Scotland well on the way for a draw.
Kerr was first to go, with the total at 36. He had played in characteristic style, and the Australian acting captain H.LK. Collins, soon tumbled to his penchant for turning the ball trickily to leg. Sorrie was full of confidence from the start, and play had not been long in progress before he began to hit out freely at the fast bowler.
Three or four times he dispatched him boldly to the boundary with hefty drives. McDonald's deliveries, one of which hit him on the chest, appeared to suit him nicely, and probably he was disappointed when the fast bowler was taken off at 43. He was not so comfortable with Mailey, and after merely stopping him several times, he lost patience, and hit out recklessly.
That proved his undoing; the working of the break caused him to mishit, and up went the ball into the air for J. Ryder to bring off an easy catch at deep point. Sorrie was in for fully an hour, and until his fatal stroke he never looked like getting out.
R.E. Batson had been disposed of previously at 43. He had not been particularly happy but had one delightful cut off Mailey's bowling. With three wickets down for 45, the game had taken a turn in favour of the fielding side, but Stevenson and Campbell pulled it round again the other way, and they seemed well set when the left-hander played a tame stroke into the hands of J.M. Taylor in the slips.
Campbell's was as good an innings as was seen during the day, and he played all the bowling well, and with ease and every confidence. It was crisp, clean batting. He showed a decided partiality for Mailey, and played him better than any other Scottish batsman has done. He tumbled at once to the googlie tricks, and most of his six 4's were at Mailey's expense, and from safe drives.
He also cut well. When out lbw, after an hour and ten minutes stay, he had got 39 out of 77 scored while he was at the wicket. Campbell gave a chance to the wicket-keeper, off Ryder, when 6, but otherwise he made no mistake.
Though crippling, and having a man to run for him, Fergusson played in plucky style, and had some delightful strokes, seven of which were 4's. He cut and drove with effect. There was a pronounced tail to the side, but the total was a tolerable one, if not so large as at one time seemed probable. Fergusson was at the wicket seventy minutes.
For a considerable time before the close it was evident that the Australians could not win, that they had no time to get the Scots out again. Only an hour remained for play when Kerr and Sorrie went in for the second time, and so well did they perform that they were still together when stumps were drawn.
It was remarkable how Sorrie was eclipsed, and how the captain monopolised the scoring. He got by far the most of the bowling, and while Sorrie had but a couple of 4's the Greenock man helped himself to eight; he had also two 3's and four 2's.
Kerr got his 50 out of 63 in forty five minutes. It was a most creditable display that the pair gave, despite the fact that the bowling was in the hands of Pellew, T.J. Andrews, E.R. Mayne, and Taylor.
The match was in every way a success. The weather did not look promising in the early part of the day. There was drizzling rain during the greater part of the forenoon, and heavy lowering clouds which seemed ready to burst at any moment.
Fortunately for the complete success of the match, from a financial point of view, the rain went off in the afternoon and, though the sun never broke through the leaden clouds, play took place under conditions quite a favourable character, if at the start the light was faulty. The Perth people did their part well, and there would be an attendance of about 6000, rather less than that of Tuesday.
Altogether the receipts for the two days came to between £1400 and £1500, and almost equalled those of Partick, where the promoters had the advantage of a Saturday's play. The Scottish Union have been most generously treated by the Perthshire club.
All the expense incurred in making the enclosure and erecting the stand has been borne by the club, who hope to recoup themselves from the three county engagements that have to be carried through on the North Inch between now and the end of the month. Already the Union are safe for a nice little nest-egg, just what they have been requiring ever since the Union was formed.
Yesterday morning a party of the Australians were taken to Gleneagles by motor to visit the golf course. Tonight they will be taken for a run out East Lothian way, and will also attend the second house of the Empire Theatre.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)