CricketArchive

Scotland v New Zealand 15, 16 & 17 July 1931
by Cricket Scotland


Ground:Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
Scorecard:Scotland v New Zealanders
Event:New Zealand in British Isles 1931

DateLine: 4th February 2013

 

Scotsman

 

Day 1:
A start was made yesterday in the three days' game between Scotland and New Zealand at Partick, and good progress was made. There was a full day's play, and if the Scottish team did well to get their opponents out for the comparatively small total of 176, they also fared badly with the bat.

 

At one time they looked like finishing in a very favourable position, for when 50 runs had been scored one wicket only had fallen. The last half hour, however, proved a fatal time for the Scots, and the greatest blow of all was when Kerr lost his wicket with what proved to be the last ball of the day. Thus when stumps were drawn, five of Scotland's best batsmen were out, and only 67 runs had been scored. And earlier in the day, it appeared probable that the visiting side would be out for a much smaller total than 176.

 

It was not by any means an exciting day. There was nothing noteworthy about the New Zealanders' batting. Of a good, plain, ordinary character, it was that and no more, there was a lack of sparkle about it. Dempster, Blunt, Vivian, and Kerr, for example, gave the impression that they were not unduly troubled in keeping up their wickets. There were but rare periods when they scored with any degree of freedom.

 

Perhaps the wicket troubled both them and the Scots, and assisted the spin bowlers, but it seemed to be playing fairly easily, and there was no great life about it. Yet all through the batsmen were continually patting it down as if the ball were leaving its mark after each delivery. Obviously it was more difficult than it looked to be.

 

None of the batsmen on either side could ever claim to have taken command of the bowling, and if one would hesitate to say that Kerr's innings was the best of the day, there was no doubt it was the most entertaining. A characteristic display it was he gave. It was a misfortune for Scotland that his wicket was captured just on time, and that fact made a big difference on the state of the game.

 

The cricket when he and McTavish were together compared favourably with any seen during the New Zealanders' innings, and if Lowry, the visitors' captain, never called on Merriit, the most successful bowler of the tour, he probably thought of doing so when these two Scots were together. It was noted, too, that he was saving his usual wicket-keeper, James, and took the " stumper's" job himself, and it was odd in that connection that James should have given two "lives" to Scots, one in the outfield and one close in. Neither, however, mattered.

 

The fielding all over was good, and the Scottish team certainly excelled in that department. They gave little away, and Nicholson did some splendid scouting in the country, picking up cleanly and saving many a run by reason of his keenness and speed. A word of praise is also due Simpson for his wicket-keeping. He stumped two men and caught a third, and if he gave away seven byes, four of them were from a ball which went to the boundary.

 

As a rule, the bowlers kept a good length, and Hiddleston's work was always interesting. He got a lot of play on the ball, and rarely could liberties be taken with impunity in regard to his deliveries. His early good overs, however, were spoiled to a considerable extent by the last pair of New Zealand batsmen. The fast bowlers also required to be carefully played.

 

Good weather favoured the match. It was bright and warm most of the time, and if there were a shower, it did not interfere with the play. Less than 3000 people would be present as paying spectators, and they did not see anything very thrilling.

 

The nature of the cricket may be imagined when it is stated that during the five hours or a little less play lasted no more than 243 runs were recorded. The New Zealanders batted for nearly three hours and a quarter, and the Scots for under an hour and three quarters.

 

Dempster and Mills opened in a very subdued fashion, and three of the first four overs, two by Baxter and one by Anderson, were maidens. The Scottish captain kept on his fast bowlers, the two opening ones and Watson, for an hour, and then he tried Hiddleston, who met with immediate success.

 

Prior to lunch, the visitors had not done too well with three wickets down for a total of 55. Their batting had been uneventful. The first boundary came from Dempster after twenty five minutes' play, and the "crack" bat of the Dominion side took exactly an hour to make his 24 out of 38, in which there were three 4's.

 

He seemed safe and sure, however, for a long stay, when, in attempting a pull, he just touched a ball, and was taken at the wicket. Mills left before him, and he was in for forty minutes for his 6. A fine catch at mid-off from a hard drive accounted for him.

 

And the good work, from a Scottish point of view, was continued after the interval, for Vivian, who had threatened to make a big score, was out to an lbw decision almost immediately on resuming. For a time Captain Alexander continued, as earlier in the day, to make most use of his fast bowlers, but with the score at 74, he called on Hiddleston again for a second spell, and his second delivery proved fatal to Talbot, who made a big hit to long-off, and had the ill-fortune to see McTavish bring off a great catch after having to run a long way to reach the ball which was going away from him, and which he had to take when awkwardly placed. Thus half the side were out for 74.

 

The next pair, however, improved matters greatly for the Dominion side. They batted steadily, and declined to take risks with the slow breaking balls of Hiddleston. They put on 46 for the sixth wicket, and in the course of their stand the 100 went up after exactly two hours' play.

 

Blunt was first to go. He had moved forward to meet a ball from Hiddleston at the break and, missing it, Simpson was quick to whip off the bails. His innings lasted three quarters of an hour, and he hit but one 4. It was a very useful one for his team, and it was good cricket he played after a shaky start.

 

Lowry, never comfortable with the slow bowling, did not stay long. He fell to a tame stroke, tapping a breaking ball to Kerr, who was fielding close in at point. James, the wicket-keeper, was strong on the leg side, and had a partiality for pulls.

 

The last wicket gave a lot of trouble, and put on 29 runs, and during their stay Hiddleston's figures suffered severely. When he took his fourth wicket 38 runs had been hit off him, and at the finish the latter figure had almost doubled.

 

Scotland did not start well. An early disaster befell the side, for the captain, Alexander, was out with but one run scored. In reaching out to play a ball he lifted his toes, and Lowry was quick to take the chance. Talbot and Allcott opened the bowling, but the former had one over only, Vivian being called on, and it was in his first over that Alexander was dismissed. Both bowlers then were left-handers.

 

Kerr was in one of his perkiest moods, and, though the fielders gathered in closely, he appeared to be quite at his ease, and to be enjoying the way in which he managed every now and then to get the ball away in clever style. Some of his strokes were cutely executed, and particularly two, when, reaching forward he got the ball before it fell to the ground and pulled it round to leg.

 

McTavish was more free, but the two kept equal pace in scoring, and when the 50 went up, after fifty five minutes, Kerr had 24 and McTavish 25. Just then the Royal High Schoolman had a "go" at Vivian, and the ball was dropped by James fielding at long-off. Hard he tried to secure it, but all his jugglery was of no avail, and McTavish had a "life." But it did not avail him anything for without increasing his total he popped the ball very meekly into the hands of the fielder at square leg.

 

Up to that point Scotland had done well, but Jones gave no trouble. He stayed a while, but was never at ease, and Nicholson was lucky to get even four runs. He was missed by James before opening his account. Then Kerr was appealed against for lbw, and was given out in Mathieson's first over. It is an old failing of his. It was for Scotland a depressing wind up to a not very lively day's cricket.

 

The New Zealanders left Page, Weir, and Cromb out of their side, and T.M. Hart, the Oxford University blue, was twelfth man for Scotland.

 

The bigger wicket was used in the match, but the new lbw rule was not brought into requisition.

 

Day 2:
The New Zealanders had the upper hand all the time in the second day of their match with Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, Partick. They got out the remaining five Scottish batsmen for the addition of 45 runs, and they then proceeded to occupy the wicket for four hours, during which they put on a score of 281 for the loss of seven men.

 

Thus, with three wickets in hand, they have a lead of no fewer than 345 runs. All that Scotland can hope for is a draw, and even that will be very difficult to secure, especially if the New Zealand captain closes his innings straightaway today.

 

Should he decide to bat until lunch, the Scots would have some prospect of escaping defeat, but on a wicket which has been cut up a good deal that, for a fourth innings, would be a great performance.

 

With the wickets of three of the Dominion team's best batsmen, Dempster, Blunt, and Lowry, still to be captured, it may be that the opportunity will be afforded the public to see them add another 100 or more to the already big aggregate.

 

The New Zealanders were more free in their batting yesterday than the previous day. Perhaps they had become more accustomed to the soft pitch than on their first experience of it. There was still a lot of bat-patting, but not nearly so much as on the previous day, and there is no doubt that the ground was much firmer.

 

It was still, however, giving help to the spin bowlers, and Allcott in particular was able to make good use of the advantage thus given him. He bowled well. His length was rarely at fault, and he was ever a source of trouble. Allcott was chiefly responsible for the latter part of the Scottish side making such a poor response.

 

The New Zealand captain changed his batting line order very considerably, and the results were good. Some of the "tail" men went in early, and most of the usual leaders late. There was more punch about the batting, though there was again a lot of quiet play, and never was any effort made to provide a spectacular display. Yet for the most part the day's play was full of interest. The touring team took just about four hours to get 281 runs.

 

Scotland's bowlers did quite good work but they did not seem to present the same difficulties to the opposition as the day before. Five of them were tried, and all got some reward for their efforts. Hiddleston was the only one who got more than one wicket. He was freely hit at times. As in the New Zealander's first innings, there was too much sameness about the deliveries of Anderson, Watson, and Baxter, and the need of a slow bowler, such as Allcott or Vivian, was again felt. It was late in the day before a fifth bowler in Jones was called on, and a chance might have been given to Tod when the visiting side had obtained such a firm grip of the attack.

 

The fielding of the Scots was again a feature of the match. Few mistakes were made, and one catch only was dropped, and the ground work and the returning of the ball were brilliant at times. Several of the players earned the cheers of the crowd, which numbered about the same as the previous day, less than 3000.

 

No Scottish side in recent years, it is safe to say, have done better in that respect, or received more appreciation from spectators. Most of the men did something worthy of note, and those who specially distinguished themselves were Kerr, Jones, McTavish, Hiddleston, and Tod, who covered a lot of ground, and saved a lot of runs.

 

There was at least one department of the game in which the Scots yielded nothing to their opponents. Three times during the afternoon were the wickets hit from long returns, and one of the throws meant a wicket.

 

Scotland's late batsmen disappointed. The last five wickets did not do a great deal to improve the bad position of the side, and the total finished 64 behind that of the New Zealanders. The bowling of Allcott was too good for them. He got assistance from the wicket, and he frequently beat the bat without hitting the stumps.

 

The three wickets he captured yesterday cost but 18 runs, and at one time the figures were three for 8. A neat catch in the slips disposed of Simpson, Dempster holding on to the ball though he fell and turned over in taking it.

 

Tod who had three good 4's, was out to a tame stroke, and was never really comfortable with Allcott, and Anderson was easily caught when he attempted to hit the slow left-hander. Watson fell to a "full tosser" from Vivian at the other end, and Baxter was more than "yorked" by the same bowler after he had been given a "life" from Merritt at point.

 

It was the easiest of chances the New Zealanders' "crack" bowler dropped. He was not called upon to bowl during Scotland's first innings.

 

On the New Zealanders' going in for the second time, Talbot and James put on 38 for the first wicket, and Merritt and the former raised the total to 72 before they parted. As on Wednesday, James indulged freely in pulled strokes, and more than once he wheeled round fast balls from Baxter to the boundary. He was out to a fine catch by Jones, who was fielding at short-leg, and took a hard hit ball very neatly and quietly.

 

Merritt made little attempt to secure runs. He was content to block, block, block, while Talbot did the scoring, and he was at the wickets for forty minutes for his 3 runs. A brilliant bit of work by McTavish brought his tedious stay to a close. Fielding at long-leg the Royal High School man picked up cleanly and threw down the wicket from long range.

 

Talbot batted steadily, but he was always scoring if he took few risks. A glance to leg off the fast bowlers was a speciality of his, and he got a lot of his runs in that direction. He had the distinction of obtaining the first individual 50 of the match, and getting bolder thereafter he also secured the first hit for 6. It was a fine on-drive from Anderson's bowling. He was third out, and his innings came to an end with an easy catch to the Scottish captain, fielding at cover point. It was a good, chanceless innings, and amongst his hits, besides the 6, were six 4's. He was at the wicket an hour and fifty minutes.

 

Mathieson, the eleventh man of the first innings, was promoted to second wicket down, and he saw the score raised from 72 for 2 to 256 for 6. Of the 184 made during his stay he had 72, and he was at the crease for just under two hours and a half. It was his biggest score of the tour, his previous best was 15, not out, and it was a curious innings. When he went in he did not seem to take matters very seriously, and he had a few wild lunges at full-pitched balls which he missed and narrowly escaped being bowled with, but he settled down later to play good cricket, and he got his runs from all round the wicket strokes.

 

He gave one chance in the slips, which looked like going to Anderson's hands, when Alexander jumped in and diverted the ball. That was off Baxter's bowling when Mathieson had made 26.

 

Mills, who generally opens with Dempster, played a good innings for his 41, and his runs, 20 of which came from strokes to the boundary, lasted an hour and fifteen minutes. Eighth to go in, Dempster batted during the last twenty minutes for his dozen runs.

 

Day 3:
Scotland fared badly yesterday against New Zealand at Glasgow, and suffered a crushing defeat by 235 runs. The Dominion men did not continue batting. They were content with their 281 for seven wickets, and their lead of 345, and at once declared their second innings closed.

 

A little over two hours sufficed for Scotland's second spell of batting, and all was over shortly after 3 o'clock.

 

The Scots were unfortunate in that they had nine men only to go to the wicket. Watson was unable to bat owing to a hand injury he met with on Thursday in attempting to stop a hard drive, and an accident befell Hiddleston during the lunch interval yesterday, which prevented him taking any further part in the game. He was bowling to one of his colleagues and was struck above the eye by another who was also engaged in practice. He fell to the ground and had to be led to the pavilion, blood flowing freely from the wound. These happenings, however, had no influence on the result, both the injured men being bowlers.

 

The bowling of the Dominion team again proved too good for the Scots, none of whom, apart from the opening pair, showed any confidence with the bat. It was a poor display the Scotsmen gave, and the only department in which they did really well in the match was in fielding.

 

Alexander and Kerr were together for fully an hour at the beginning of the innings, and both batted with a care befitting the occasion and the circumstances. They had a variety of bowlers opposed to them, for the New Zealand captain called on no fewer than six trundlers in the first hour, and Merritt had been twice changed from end to end.

 

Runs came slowly, but Merritt, Vivian, and Allcott had to be well watched as they were getting the ball to turn a lot. Kerr survived an lbw appeal from Merritt's bowling at one end, but fell a victim to such a decision a little later after that bowler had crossed over. Kerr was dismissed in the same way in the first innings. He left at 47, after being at the wicket for fully an hour for his 20.

 

The start was quite a good one, and though the dismissal of Kerr was a bad blow, the score stood at 64 for one wicket at the lunch interval. Other disasters, however, came quickly on play being resumed, for McTavish left without another run having been got, and Jones was out for a "duck." His first ball was his last, and with one run to his credit in the first innings he narrowly missed getting "a pair."

 

Alexander's innings was as good as any in the match, and he always seemed at ease He stayed for an hour and forty minutes, and half of his total came from 4's. It was a good one-handed catch by Dempster at short-slip which led to his dismissal, the fieldsman falling in taking the ball, but holding on to it.

 

After Alexander left there was never much fight in the side. Nicholson and Tod put on 20 for the sixth wicket, and the former had some good strokes to the off boundary, but he was less fortunate even to get 19, for he had had a let off at close in point when his score stood at 13. He was last man out, and it was a weak stroke to long off which brought about his dismissal, and finished off the game.

 

There would be about 500 spectators.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)



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