|Scorecard:||Scotland v Northamptonshire|
|Event:||Northamptonshire in Scotland 1913|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
Some excellent cricket was seen yesterday in the first day's play of this match at Broughty Ferry, and at the close the advantage lay distinctly with the visitors. They had scored 308 runs in their first innings, and got rid of nine of their opponents for 160, so that Scotland, with but one wicket in hand, still require 149 runs to save the follow-on.
And, of course, the chances are that they will not do so, and, indeed, but for the sporting and generous action of the Northampton captain S.G. Smith, the whole Scottish side would have been disposed of last night with some five minutes to spare. When the Scottish score stood at 144, and the last pair were together, an appeal for l.b.w. was given against R.W. Sievwright by Pearse, who with Higgins, of Forfarshire, was umpiring. Several of the fieldsmen, however, were cognisant of the fact that the batsman had played the ball, and Sievwright was called back by Smith, and resumed his innings.
Of the twelve names previously given from the Northamptonshire eleven would be chosen, that of George Thompson dropped out, and there was some disappointment that one on the best known men in the English county team had been unable to come north. A Strong side, however, was put on the field, and they played bright and interesting cricket, such as is good to sit and look at. There was nothing stodgy or dull about it, as perhaps is sufficiently indicated by the fact that they got their three hundred runs in little over three hours. It was cheery batting all through the innings.
The chief feature of the innings was, of course, the batting of the two men who made the centuries, Haywood, the professional, and J.S. Denton, one of the twin brothers. Both played perfectly, and if Haywood, a tall, powerfully built man, adopted the more popular style in that he went in more for big hitting, Denton, a little, slight fellow, gave as polished and finished a display as has been seen at Forthill for many a day. And he scored nearly as quickly as his colleague, for both were at the wickets just about two hours for their hundreds.
The footwork of Denton was a treat to see. He watched the ball closely, timed it with the greatest accuracy, and was very nimble in shifting his ground, even when opposed by the fast bowlers, and turning the ball to leg. But he scored nicely all round the wicket, and, if not many of his runs came from drives, he showed now and then that he could score in that way too.
His was a dainty display, yet he was always scoring at more than a steady pace. Only one chance, if chance it could be called, did he give. When he had 93 he put one dangerously through the slips and Bowie made a great effort to get to the ball with his right hand. Though the fielder managed to touch it, he could not bring off what would have been a magnificent catch. Denton had thirteen 4's.
Haywood's cricket was of a more dashing character and more showy probably to the majority of the onlookers. His best hits were three 6's and fourteen 4's, but it was no more meritorious than that of Denton. Both were splendid efforts. It was fine to see him driving the fast bowling of Morfee, and all three 6's came from deliveries of the Dunfermline professional.
At times Hayward seemed to take a special delight in trouncing Morfee, and in the over immediately preceding lunch he drove him for two 4's, and two 6's, 20 runs in all. It was a refreshing bit of batting. Not one mistake did Haywood make.
The two put on 147 for the fifth wicket. They came together at a time when matters were going badly for their side, and before they were separated they had turned the game completely against Scotland.
At the start of the Northampton innings; Morfee had been carrying all before him, and the first four wickets were all claimed by him. They fell at 16, 52, 63, and 68, and at that point he had had just over 40 runs hit off him. He, however, could claim no further victims, and in the end proved rather expensive, thanks chiefly to the two "centurions." These two indeed accounted almost wholly for Northampton's big total.
The fielding left little to be desired, with an odd mistake or two, and none of them were serious. The Scots acquitted themselves well in that respect, and it was noteworthy that G.K. Chalmers only allowed four extras, two of which were leg-byes. It was most creditable wicket-keeping against such trundlers as Morfee and Benskin, even allowing that the batsmen hit most of the deliveries that were sent down.
The bowling, too, was quite good. Benskin started badly by pitching too short, but after lunch he kept a good length, and he and R.G. Tait did well towards the close of the Northampton innings. C.S. Paterson, too, performed a good service to the side when he broke up the big partnership, and he did so in his first over. Sievwright was kept on too long. All the same, although he did not get a wicket, he bowled well right through his twenty five overs, and he had to be played with care all the time.
The Scottish innings opened disastrously, for when Smith and Wells, the opening trundlers for Northamptonshire, had changed ends after bowling one over each, Tait was out at 13 to a poor stroke in the direction of cover point. Then J.W. Sorrie and J. Kerr batted so steadily and so well that they carried the total to 70 before they were parted, and then, unfortunately for Scotland, both left at that total. The Greenock man had scored much more quickly than is his custom on such occasions.
M.R. Dickson also did well. He batted with his customary confidence and his 30 was composed of six 4's, mainly from cuts, and six singles. But there were a few failures, and after the captain left it was not until Morfee came in and hit Smith, who is a left-hander, with a funny twirl just before delivery, for two 4's and a 6 in one over was there any enthusiasm aroused. The Dunfermline professional was attempting another 6 when he was bowled. The last pair gave a lot of bother, and after adding 25 runs were still together when stumps were drawn for the day.
The attendance during the day would be slightly over 2000, and the drawings to about £50.
Thanks to some good batting in their second innings, the Scottish eleven playing Northamptonshire managed to make a draw of their match at Broughty Ferry. They had, however, as on Friday, all the worse of the second day's play, and when stumps and the match were drawn they were still 119 runs behind with only two wickets in hand, and that after the visitors had applied the closure in their second innings with but two men out.
A few minutes sufficed to see the Scottish first innings brought to a close, but the Northamptonshire captain did not take advantage of his prerogative to make the opposition follow on. He preferred to give his own men some batting, and by so doing he kept the game going to the time arranged for drawing stumps, and at the same time prevented his team winning. His action, however, made a fight of it to the end, and the Scottish players had no reason to be ashamed of the batting display they gave on going in a second time.
The Scottish bowling was pretty well collared again by a pair of Englishmen, W.H. Denton and S.G. Smith. They came together after Woolley had been got rid of cheaply, and Haywood had had to retire owing to a blow on the body from a fast ball sent down by Morfee, and though they proceeded leisurely to start with they put on runs later at a great pace, especially Smith, who was at the wicket only one hundred and eight minutes for his 101. How he was scoring towards the end of his innings can be gauged from the fact that he got his second fifty in twenty three minutes.
Though lacking the neat and finished style of the Dentons, Smith gave an excellent display, and, like most good left-handers, proved most effective. He watched the ball closely, and when he roused himself he was particularly severe on R.W. Sievwright, and a good proportion of his ten 4's and both his 6's were hit off the slow bowler. The innings was closed whenever Smith reached the three figures, and, no doubt, the declaration was delayed for that purpose.
Deducting the tea interval, Scotland had in all just under three hours to bat, and as they had 370 to win, all they could hope for was a draw. The Northampton captain might have been a little more generous to his opponents and his own side. As it was, he never gave the Scots a chance of making the runs.
R.G. Tait again failed with the bat, but John Kerr and J.W. Sorrie kept together for a long time, batting very carefully, yet seldom running the least risk. M.R. Dickson, too, was in good form, and he and Kerr carried the total from 57 to 123, and put Scotland well on the way for a draw.
Kerr was cramped and fidgety in style compared with Dickson, whose innings of 53, got in about fifty minutes, was as good as anything the match contained in the batting line. He hit hard, and he hit often, and not many remain for smaller hits when it is stated that he had two 6's and eight 4's. It was a delightful bit of batting, crisp, clean, and confident, and when he had got so far there was general disappointment that he did not go further. The bowling seemed so easy to him that he never looked like getting out. A catch in the slips from the ball after the one he drove to the boundary for his 50 led to his retirement.
When he left four wickets were down, and fully an hour remained for play, and Kerr followed him almost immediately. A precious stand was that made by the two, and the Greenock man was at the wickets an hour and a half for his 35. G. Turnbull and C.S. Paterson carried on the good work, the former, after a shaky start, batting in great style.
His play to the off was very fine, and he had a brilliant straight drive out of the ground off Smith. Morfee had a merry, if brief, stay, and included in his 24 were four 4's, and though fifteen minutes remained when the second last pair became associated, these two, Benskin and G.K. Chalmers, succeeded in playing out time, and thereby giving Scotland a creditable draw.
The attendance was scarcely so good as had been anticipated for a Saturday afternoon. There would be well under 3000 present.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)