|Ground:||Raeburn Place, Edinburgh|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v Australians|
|Event:||Australia in British Isles 1948|
DateLine: 2nd February 2013
At the close of play in the first day of the two days match at Raeburn Place last night, Scotland had dismissed Australia in three and a half hours for 236 runs, a performance which went far to confirm the belief, held for long enough, that there is nothing essentially wrong with the Scottish bowling and fielding despite the variable quality of the batting.
The last-named will be subjected to a stern test to-day, but as the Australians did not get as many runs as expected, an interesting finish is in prospect.
Spectators started to assemble outside the gates three hours before the match was due to start, and there was a crowd of at least 300O present when the teams were due to take the field.
Rain fell steadily, and many, after seeing a notice "Play when rain stops", took the opportunity of an early lunch or snack. Eventually, when the weather position improved, Bradman and Laidlaw, the respective captains, went out to toss, and the Australian, on winning the call, decided to bat first.
By the time it was Bradman's turn to go to the wicket, Barnes and Miller were back in the pavilion with only 29 runs scored, a circumstance which Indicated hostility on the part of Scotland's medium fast bowlers, Youngson and Colledge.
The visiting captain was given a most cordial reception by a crowd that had swelled to 5000, and he quickly acknowledged the cheers by hitting a boundary off one of his favourite leg shots. But the caution he showed, in common with the left-handed Morris suggested that the wicket was tricky, and that Nichol the spin bowler who had been brought on, commanded respect.
The Kelburne man kept pegging away, and with the tourists' total at 77, he made the ball turn sharply and Bradman played on to his wicket. This feat will be recalled in the years to come when Nichol's numerous distinguished performances for his country are recalled.
When Hamence was held at mid-off by Laidlaw off the same bowler, some in the crowd were saying that Scotland had been more successful than England lately in getting five of the Australians out for 91, but, if there was any hope of a quick finish to the innings it was soon dispelled by the partnership of Morris, who had been slow though always correct, and McCool, who played some classic strokes all round the wicket.
They put on 109 runs before being separated and Morris, taking complete control of the attack, went on to get his century in just over three hours, in magnificent innings in which the only semblance of a chance, and a very hard one at that, was a drive in Colledge' s direction at mid-off when he had scored 58. Colledge actually touched the ball and rolled over in trying to hold it, but it was no blemish in the Scottish fielding that he did not succeed.
After McCool was out to a confident appeal by Laidlaw, the Scottish captain had a great bowling spell with his leg spinners. In a maiden over he got two wickets with three balls, bowled Morris at 223 when the Latter tried to hook, and with some cooperation by Wykes, the wicketkeeper, dismissed Saggers and W.A. Johnson with successive deliveries.
At the end of it all, he had a bag of five wickets for 51 runs which, considering the status of the opposition, was a greater feat even than when he had a " hat trick" against the M.C.C. on the same ground. As the last Australian wicket fell just around the time when play was due to stop, Scotland also had the satisfaction of not having to open their innings until today.
When Saggers, the Australian wicketkeeper uprooted the stumps and threw them into the air with an hour still available for play had it been needed, at Raeburn Place, last night, it was the signal that Scotland, whose bowlers had done so well the previous day by dismissing the tourists for 236, had been beaten by an innings and 40 runs.
Once again, therefore, the Scottish batting was consistent only in its inconsistency, but It would have been a miracle if the resistance had proved any stronger against bowling of the highest class, which had an amazing variety of speed and spin and was supported by immaculate fielding.
W.A. Johnston, the left-arm fast-medium bowler, was the villain of the piece in the early part of the day when he captured six wickets for 15 runs, and later, when Bradman wrought some bewildering changes, and along with Saggers, who was pretty successful in his own job, was the only member of his team not to take a turn with the ball.
Morris, the century-maker of the previous day and who rarely bowls, had five for 10. Bowling slow spinners with great accuracy, he might have had an even better analysis but for Edward who, not for the first time in his career, fought a noble rearguard action and did some brisk hitting.
Many of the 5000 spectators, who enjoyed the match in fine weather, expressed a little disappointment that Bradman, instead of enforcing the follow-on, did not elect to have another visit to the wicket and give an exhibition of his celebrated prowess.
But the law was on his side, and if Scotland did slightly better for a while in the second venture than in the first, Willatt, ever patient, and the bolder Crosskey, who did something to justify his preference over Aitchison as an opening batsman, showed the way in a partnership of half a century, which was the best feature of Scotland's batting, defeat was always round the corner.
Not one of the succeeding batsmen got the chance to settle as soon as Ring, the leg spin bowler with a carefully disguised "googly" and the fifth to be brought on, sent Crosskey back.
Aitchison, dropped to No. 6 in the batting order, revealed capital form all round the wicket in the first innings, and deserved a higher place later on, but among the others, apart from those mentioned only Atkinson, probably the oldest of the 22 on the field, combined style and confidence. Those who remember him years ago on the same field saw glimpses of him at his best when he hit three 4s before lunch, and later, with a glorious straight drive, he got a 6, the only one of the match, off McCool.
The latter, with his wily, slow bowling, capital fielding and fine batting of the previous day, must have made many appreciate how extraordinarily high are Australian standards these days when they can afford to leave him out of the Tests. They are amazingly versatile, and Scotland can merely hope for the best in the second match at Aberdeen this week.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)
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