|Ground:||Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v New Zealanders|
|Event:||New Zealand in British Isles 1937|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
Honours were even in the first day of the three days cricket international between Scotland and New Zealand at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow. After a day of enterprising and bright cricket, the Scots were out for 237, and the tourists, who included seven Test match players, had 145 on the board for four wickets.
Scotland's good score, though reasonably expected on account of the strength of an eleven including half a dozen noted "Anglos," was due in large measure to a sparkling innings by N. S. Mitchell-Innes, who, in scoring 87 out of 112 in seventy-five minutes, did a service to Scottish cricket which does not always command a public because of staidness as well as non-success against representative teams.
Mitchell-Innes had one inspired spell, which was more than the most optimistic of a big crowd could have expected. To have Australians, South Africans, and New Zealanders flog Scottish bowling is not un-common, but to find a Scot slamming the ball to the boundary to the tune of 32 runs in two overs in an international is something seldom, if ever, seen.
Probably it was the superb fielding of the tourists that led the Oxford man to open his shoulders. Try as he might he could not turn the ball away for singles with safety, and, in fact, almost succeeded in getting W. A. Heggie run out. This was a narrow escape, and evidently he decided upon vigour as the method to get runs which were all too few at that time.
H. G. Vivian was the bowler who was treated with such scant respect. First there was a 4 which was heartily applauded; then, in a surprised silence, the Oxford man swept the ball right out of the ground with one of the biggest hits seen at Hamilton Crescent for many days. Next ball was another 4, which was followed by a 2. In the next over J. A. Dunning was treated in the same way, and the ball was driven right through to the sight screens four times in succession.
This could not last, but the Scot, supported by sound batting from W. R. Heggie, was moving steadily towards his century after the luncheon interval, when a daring snick provided the solitary chance in his innings, and he was held in the slips.
His display, which must have put a great deal of heart into the Scottish side, was marked by marvellous footwork and clever and strong play with the wrists. Altogether he had ten 4s and three 6s.
Heggie, too, provided a pleasant surprise. A prolific scorer for Fifeshire and Dunfermline, he has yet earned a reputation for being somewhat lucky and at times careless. On Saturday he played steady cricket, making many clever cuts under a handicap. He had been at the wicket only a couple of overs when he had a blow on the heel with the ball which was obviously painful, and made him limp for the rest of his innings. He took one and three quarter hours for his 44. which included four 4s.
At the commencement of the Scottish innings on an easy-paced wicket, P. A. Gibb and F. W. Ramsden were seldom at ease. The stylish Ferguslie player scored with several good strokes, but Gibb was at the wicket for three quarters of an hour for 6, and belied the form which gave him a half century against the same opposition a week before when he opened for Yorkshire.
The j prospects of a Cambridge-Oxford stand with Mitchell-Innes were quickly dissipated, and it fell to Heggie to combine in a big stand to change the fortunes of the game.
There was no further stand until B. R. Tod and G. T. Forbes came together, A. K. McTavish being yet another victim of N. Gallichan's trap in the slips. Tod, the captain, and the hero of last season's game with Ireland at Raeburn Place, again showed his remarkable capacity for getting runs, although he has had little first-class cricket this season.
He had one escape when the ball ran up the bat and spun in jerky fashion to the slips, but he played a careful innings, and obtained most of his scores and four boundaries by sweeping the ball to leg at every opportunity. When he did go out, it was to an exceedingly hard catch by Gallichan, the bowler, who intercepted a fierce straight drive that should have reached the boundary.
Forbes hit out heartily also before failing to smother a good ball by Gallichan that just reached the wicket.
Thereafter the Scots tailed off. I. A. R. Peebles smote the ball hard but wildly, and was caught in the outfield.
Eventually the Scots lost their last four wickets for 9 runs. The New Zealand attack, however, was never very impressive, although Gallichan's clever flighting lured no fewer than half a dozen batsmen into fatal mistakes, and he returned the fine analysis of six wickets for 46. Vivian had three for 59, while Dunning's one wicket cost 63.
Scotland's total, despite the falling off, was a good one, obtained in ten minutes less than four hours, though much depended upon how the tourists would show up in the hour and a half left to them.
Prospects were rosy when A. D. Baxter, a man who has bowled Bradman, sent back J. L. Kerr .with only 7 on the board. There followed a fine partnership between Vivian and M. W. Wallace, which showed that the New Zealanders were not perturbed by the Scots' comparative successes.
Vivian at times emulated Mitchell-Innes, and in just over an hour the left-hander obtained 75, which included ten 4s and two 6s, one of his big hits sending the ball over the wall. He attacked the bowling gaily right from the outset, and seemed almost master of it, when at 75 he was dropped by Forbes.
The crowd wondered what this was going to cost the Scots, but Peebles sent down such a good ball immediately after that the New Zealander played it on to his- wicket.
The last ball of the day saw Baxter shatter the stumps of Wallace, who had played even more soundly for a half-century. And the tourists had four wickets down for 145, which was 10 less than the Scots had obtained at the same stage of their innings.
Scotland gained a first innings lead over New Zealand at Hamilton Crescent. Glasgow, yesterday, but an indifferent second innings lost the Scots their advantage, and at the end of the day the tourists required 36 to win, with five wickets in hand.
The home eleven's chances are apparently lost, although they showed yesterday in the New Zealanders first innings that the tourists are quite liable to collapse.
J. H. Melville had a grand bowling spell at the start of the day, and it was surprising to find that he was not used when the New Zealanders made their second essay. Certainly, it looks as if Melville is the Scots' one remaining hope of bringing off a surprise victory.
They should have been in a better position but for erratic batting in their second innings. P. A. Gibb performed much better than on Saturday, when he could gather only six runs in three-quarters of an hour. Yet the Scottish saviour was W. R. Heggie, the young Fifeshire batsman, who had another sound and careful knock when most needed.
There was no repetition of H. S. Mitchell-Innes's "fireworks", although Gibb had one great hit, and the tourists were always in a strong position after entering upon their second innings.
Interest in the early part of the day's play rested upon the possibility of the tourists, with their admitted all-along-the line batting steadiness, passing the Scottish first innings total.
Fortunes fluctuated, for after a quick wicket had fallen to Melville on a pitch that had had some overnight rain, there were at least two partnerships which seemed likely to last a fair time. Melville, however, was very successful. The former Forfarshire bowler varied both pace and flight, and finished with five wickets for 68.
A. D. Baxter met with no further success, but I. A. R. Peebles benefited from the changes, and had cheap wickets.
The tourists had appeared well set to pass the Scottish total but their collapse was just as bad as that of the home side on Saturday. The sixth, seventh, and eighth wickets fell for but three runs, and Scotland eventually led by 23 runs.
The Scottish fielding had been erratic.
Scotland made an indifferent start to their second innings. F. W. Ramsden, surely one of the unluckiest of batsmen in big matches, did not last long, and was out leg-before with 12 on the board. Worse was to follow, for Mitchell-Innes, who flogged the tourists' bowling on Saturday, went out the same way three runs later.
Fortunately, Gibb was an entirely different proposition this innings, and went about the task of getting runs with boldness and confidence. The coming of Heggie was a steadying influence, and, although the Fifeshire player scored slowly, Gibb was punishing every loose ball with good strokes all round the wicket. One ball from Donnelly, the Cantab, smashed to leg for 6 the ball knocking a piece off the top of the fence to land on the roadway.
Frequent bowling changes were of little avail although the fielding was still uniformly good, but Gibb failed when he seemed set, sadly mistiming J. A. Dunning, and being clean bowled. Two balls later A. K. McTavish, who has had a most unhappy match, made the same mistake, and left without adding to the total.
With the advent of B. R. Tod, however, there was a stand with Heggie that brought the hundred within reach in little more than an hour and a half, but with one run to go the Scottish captain was held behind the wicket, and with the memory of Saturday's collapse, the Scots' position was not at all reassuring.
Heggie hit five 4s in his 36.
Backed by A. Smith and G. T. Forbes for short spells, his departure meant that the home total was bound to be disappointing.
Nevertheless, the tourists, left with 178 to get to win on a wicket that was showing signs of wear, had no easy task. A. D. Baxter was early troublesome, and once more got G. L. Kerr very cheaply when only 14 was on the board.
H. G. Vivian and M. W. Wallace seemed set for a second big stand, but Baxter and A. Smith were successful in putting a better complexion on the score from a Scottish viewpoint-81 for four.
D. A. R. Moloney and M. P. Donnelly, the next partners of note, started irresolutely, but when they went out for runs they practically put an end to Scotland's hopes with 49 for the fifth wicket before Moloney went.
The New Zealand cricket touring team won the first of their two international matches with Scotland by three wickets.
This victory was not achieved without a few shocks, however. Not only were the tourists led on the first innings, but when in the apparently impregnable position of requiring only 36 runs, with five wickets in hand, they lost two wickets without addition to the score.
The result being almost a foregone conclusion , there were few spectators at Hamilton Crescent. Glasgow, yesterday, to witness this fresh shock. I. A. R. Peebles opened the attack against W. Carson, who had difficulty in smothering the opening ball of the day. Next ball, however, the New Zealander was out leg before. M. L. Page, the tourists' captain, who was next in, decided upon immediate attack, and went out the same way.
With the score-board now showing 142 runs for seven wickets, the position had changed vastly, but W. A. Hadlee survived the attack by Peebles, who was bowling round the wicket, and it was not long before the game took on a new aspect.
Both batsmen hit out, and the necessary runs were scored in twenty-five minutes, and included a 6 by Hadlee. Donnelly, who was almost stumped by P. A. Gibb, but had a chanceless innings otherwise, hit eight 4s.
The success of Peebles yesterday gave him two more wickets, at a cost of 44 runs over the innings, while Baxter had the good figures of four for 37. A feature of the bowling in the match was the number of lbw victims. Another feature was that J. H. Melville, who caused the collapse of the visitors in their first innings, when he had five wickets, was not called upon to bowl in their second innings.
Undoubtedly, the Scots lost a big chance by their erratic second innings, but the tourists made a very pleasing impression by their willingness to go for runs, and to hazard their own chances with bright and enterprising cricket.
The attendance over the three days would be in the region of 10,000.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)
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