|Ground:||Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v New Zealanders|
|Event:||New Zealand in British Isles 1927|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
At Hamilton Crescent, Partick, yesterday, good progress was made in the opening match of the New Zealand cricketers' tour in Scotland. There was practically a full day's play of nearly five hours, and in that period the Scots completed an innings of 233, and the Dominion men got 90 runs for the loss of two wickets.
There was heavy rain in Glasgow overnight, and the wicket was so wet and soft that it was thought advisable to get another ready in case of emergencies. On an examination, however, just before the time fixed for starting by rival captains, T.C. Lowry, New Zealand, and C.S. Paterson, Scotland, it was decided to play on the originally prepared pitch, and to put off the start for quarter of an hour.
It played quite well, and if lifeless at the beginning of the match, it improved later, but though the bowler could get a good deal of work on in the late afternoon, it was never really difficult, as the Dominion men showed when they went in to bat. Both sides were handicapped. The bowlers had a wet ball to operate with, whereas the batsman found it difficult to get their hits to go far on the sodden turf.
There was some interesting cricket seen, if there were dull periods, and the New Zealanders had the better of the first day's play, though whether they gained a sufficient advantage to force victory today remains to be seen. Their most successful batsmen have yet to go to the wicket.
Of their fourteen men, they left out R.C. Blunt, probably the best all-rounder; H.M. McGirr a fast bowler; and J.E. Mills. No further changes were announced on the Scottish side from the two previously reported, A.R. Forrester and J.M. Tennent for R.W. Sievwright (Arbroath United) and I.G. Collins (Ayr).
Scotland did well to make 233 runs in three and a quarter hours, and it was satisfactory to find eight men of the eleven getting into double figures. That is a rare thing in our representative cricket, and it emphasised the reports that had come from England that the tourists are not specially strong in the bowling department.
At the start the wicket favoured the batsmen, and that the early men in did so well showed that the Scottish captain, on winning the toss, did wisely to take first innings on a wicket that was wet and promised to play easily, at least for a time. That expectation was realised, and the game had been well advanced before the bowlers could get any help from the pitch.
Before the close of the innings the youngster W.E. Merritt was making the ball turn a lot. For the most part his break was from the leg, and he occasionally sent up a "googlie" ball. Yet while he troubled the later batsmen not a little, he did not meet with success in the matter of taking wickets. Merritt could not find a length during his first spell of bowling, and A.J. Stevenson, who was top scorer for Scotland, played him with confidence by going out and hitting the ball before it reached the ground.
Nor were the bowlers backed up by good fielding. A lot of runs were conceded unnecessarily, and a few chances were given; but later there was a marked improvement in both these respects. Some of the catches were very fine ones, and notably those which dismissed Stevenson and J.M. Tennent, and C.S. Dempster did a lot of profitable scouting in the deep. On the whole, however, neither the bowling nor the fielding of the visitors was impressive.
It was, however, a fine bit of work by C.C. Dacre that broke up Scotland's first wicket partnership, and brought about J. Kerr's dismissal, with the total at 36. Keen on runs, Stevenson forced Kerr to try for a third one in byes, and on the ball being returned from the deep field Dacre got possession and threw down the wicket just before the Greenock man got down his bat.
That was a Scottish misfortune, for Kerr had been batting well and showing a stout defence. He was at the wicket for thirty five minutes, and gave a sharp chance when 13 at short square leg, an awkward trap set by several of the bowlers.
The second wicket, Stevenson and C. Groves, made a stand which realised no fewer than 63 runs, and during their association of little over half an hour some merry hitting was indulged in. That partnership put the Scots on the way for a big score. Stevenson, playing excellent cricket, though missed by C.F.W. Allcott when 34 at short square leg, had seven 4's; and Groves had a couple of 6's, one off Page and one off Merritt.
The latter hit was a great pull into the road from a full-tossed ball. The Heriot's man became a little too impetuous, however, and was stumped with the score at 99. He, too, had an early "life," but his innings was a fine one, and, like Kerr, he had a stay of thirty five minutes.
Stevenson, showing the sound cricket that has characterised his play all season, appeared to be settled for a lot of runs, but he did not long survive the lunch interval before being brilliantly taken at the second attempt by the man at square leg standing close in. D.C. Weir was at the wicket for fifty minutes, but was never really comfortable.
D.A. Mackay, on the other hand, had a lively time. He was in for ten minutes before getting a run, and then hit 24 in a similar length of time, and he was in the position of scoring all the runs during his stay with Weir. In one over from Page, he had scored 15, including a mighty 6 over the Press box, two 4's, and a single.
Play slowed down after his departure and both A.D. Innes and Paterson found it no simple matter to face up to Merritt's big-break deliveries. Runs were always difficult for them to make, but they defended stubbornly, and, as in the case of Kerr, it was hard on the side that the skipper was run out.
The innings lasted three hours and a quarter, and in the full ninety minutes left the New Zealand men made good use of their time. They were always scoring without indulging in heavy hitting, though E.H.L. Bernau, a left-hander who plays with glasses, had a 6 off Forrester's bowling. C. Oliver left at 59, and Bernau almost immediately afterwards, Forrester claiming both wickets, and having at that time very few runs against him.
The Scot's fielding was good, but the bowling did not seem to present many difficulties, though five men, Groves, Anderson, Forrester, Weir, and Patterson, all had a turn, and Anderson bowled for spells from each end. In fielding the home men excelled the visitors.
L. Craig, however, did not start well in his wicket-keeping task. He gave away nine byes, and should have stumped K.C James from the first ball the New Zealander received. Four no balls were given against Weir.
The game did not attract more than 1500 spectators, but there will probably be a good Saturday crowd today.
No play was possible.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)
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