|Ground:||Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v South Africans|
|Event:||South Africa in British Isles 1935|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
The principal feature of the opening day's play in the first of the two matches between Scotland and South Africa, which was begun yesterday on the ground of the West of Scotland C.C. at Partick, Glasgow, was the bowling of R. J. Crisp for the visitors. Taking a run of about twenty yards, he developed a fine speed on a pitch that was on the slow side, and none of the Scottish batsmen faced him with any confidence.
His length was inclined to be on the short side, and he was consequently difficult to play in front of the wicket, and, with few of the Scots showing any ability to cut, he enjoyed something in the nature of a field-day returning an analysis of seven wickets for 20 runs.
B. Langton also showed line ability with the ball, his immaculate length preventing the Scots from taking the slightest liberty with his deliveries, only 15 runs being hit off his ten overs. C. L. Vincent, who did so well in the Test match against England last weekend, presented fewer difficulties, as his left-arm slows were frequently under and over pitched.
Wass, the Golfhill professional, brought off a number of powerful pulls from short-length balls, but he, along with many of the other Scottish batsmen, failed to give adequate punishment to numerous half-volleys, especially as Vincent bowled with no real outfield.
A bolder policy would have paid against the left-hander. D. Tomlinson also bowled four overs but never looked like taking a wicket, his fast medium deliveries being of a poor length. In spite of the fact that the South Africans missed three very difficult catches, their fielding could be described as uniformly good. Mitchell, at slip brought off two catches, an easy one to dismiss Wass, but the other to dispose of the Scottish captain, W. Anderson, positively brilliant.
Anderson snicked one of Crisp's fastest deliveries, and no doubt expected the ball to reach the boundary, but Mitchell, after a full-length sideways dive, took the ball with his left hand inches from the ground.
Wade, the South African captain, and Dalton got most of the ground fielding to do, and both were particularly good in picking up and returning the hall.
Mention should be made of Nourse's splendid catch to get rid of B. G. W. Atkinson. Fielding close in at mid-on, he jumped quickly to take with his left hand at full-stretch, what seemed a well-placed stroke.
While giving every credit to the South Africans for good-length bowling and excellent fielding, it must be said that most of the Scottish batting lacked resolution. No one showed any ability to play a purely defensive game for any length of time and only Wass, an Englishman, could wait for, and then hit, the loose ball that was bound to come along. His was the only innings that worried the visitors and he hit three 4s in a stay of eighty minutes.
Atkinson, of the Grange, shaped well during a brief innings, but, after hitting Crisp for two 4s in the course of three balls, he was out to Nourse's fine catch in the same over. A.B. Hipkin and A. Smith also earned some credit for their dour defence, but, all over, the Scottish innings was a poor and uninteresting affair for the 3000 spectators who attended.
The crowd were unfortunately unable to see the South Africans bat, as, immediately on the conclusion of Scotland's innings, rain fell heavily, and no further play was possible.
Scotland gained a quite creditable draw in the first of the two two-day matches with the South Africans, which was concluded at Hamilton Crescent, Partick. The South Africans certainly had the better of the position, but they could not force home their advantage after declaring their innings closed at the tea interval having made 199 for five wickets in three and a half hours' batting.
They were then 108 ahead, and allowed themselves two hours in which to dismiss Scotland a second time, a task which proved quite beyond their powers. The Scots batted much more confidently than during their first innings on Friday, and, by scoring 126 for six wickets, were 18 ahead, with four wickets in hand, when stumps were drawn.
A feature of the day was the fielding of both sides. The South Africans were the better throwers-in, but the Scottish team, although perhaps not showing the polish and ease of their opponents in ground work, were just as effective in stopping the ball.
W. Anderson and F. I. Turner, both at mid-off, at opposite ends, got most to do, and neither ever made a mistake, and A. L. McClure and B. G. W. Atkinson, the two Grange men, were frequently conspicuous for clean picking-up and accurate returns to the wicket. McClure's catch to dismiss H. B. Cameron from a hard drive was taken with ease and certainty right on the rails.
On the Springboks' side E. L. Dalton was particularly good in the field, his work "in the country" being marked by specially good throwing in. Cameron, the wicketkeeper, seldom had to move to take the ball from their fine outfielder, whose returns from any range usually came straight to hand without touching the ground. A. D. Nourse was another grand fielder for the South Africans, and H. F. Wade, the captain, was very quick in close-in positions.
The Scottish bowling was good and steady enough to make their opponents fight for their runs, backed up as it was by well placed fielders, who did their work well. On the whole, A. Smith, Kilmarnock, did best and he certainly produced two splendid balls to clean bowl B. Mitchell and Dalton, both of whom played defensive strokes, and were beaten by the off break.
A. D. Baxter and W. Anderson were not suited to the slow wicket but both kept a good length and were seldom played with real freedom. In point of fact, except during the half-hour's partnership of Nourse and Wade, the Scottish attack was generally treated with marked respect. Hipkin and J. H. Melville both left-handers got a lot of work on the ball and, by clever flighting usually kept their opponents more or less on the defensive. All over, Scotland's out-cricket was very good.
P. A. Gibb, Turner and Wass all batted well in the Scots' second innings, and Atkinson was showing plenty of confidence until he was easily stumped in running out to drive. McClure and G. W. Morris both failed for the second time, but Smith and Hipkin had no difficulty in playing out time.
Smith is by no means a stylish batsman, but he possesses a sound defence, and in the two innings made 17 runs without losing his wicket. Gibb hit six 4s, Wass five, and Turner three, and the opening partnership of Gibb and Turner put on 50 runs in three-quarters of an hour.
The batting of the South Africans was of an eminently safe character, few spectacular strokes being made. E. A. Rowan made a number of crisp late cuts, which went to the boundary very fast, but generally he was content to jog along with well-placed singles and 2s in front of the wicket.
He hit nine 4s in a chanceless innings lasting two and three-quarter hours, and was caught at mid-off on the first occasion when he lifted the ball off the ground. Mitchell was a stylish batsman, who favoured an off-drive as his principal scoring medium. He hit six 4s during his opening partnership with Rowan, which put 109 on the board in two hours.
Nourse was more forceful in his methods, and he produced several outstanding back strokes which went to the rails almost as fast as many drives. He also cut well, and he and Wade had a merry partnership of 66 in half-an-hour. Wade seemed to draw back in making many of his strokes, and it was that fault which brought about his dismissal, an attempted pull when off his balance resulting in a badly-timed hit, that gave Atkinson a very simple catch at mid-on.
The crowd of 8000 had hoped to see some big hitting by Cameron, who has a well deserved reputation as a forcing batsman, but he got the chance of making two strokes only, the second of which, a splendidly-timed on-drive, gave McClure the chance to make his fine catch.
Half an hour's play was lost at the beginning of the day owing to heavy rain having made the outfield too wet for safety, but during most of the time the sun shone brightly, and the large crowd thoroughly enjoyed the keenness of the cricket.
Perhaps some were disappointed at the absence of " fireworks" from the South Africans, but due credit must be given to the Scottish eleven for bowling and fielding well enough to keep their opponents fighting for runs, and it has to be taken into consideration that the slow pitch and heavy outfield were all against fast scoring.
To-day and to-morrow the second of the two matches will be played at Forthill, Broughty Ferry. Unfortunately for Scotland's, chances C. S. Dempster, the New Zealand Scot, who is at present qualifying for Leicestershire, will be unable to play owing to a damaged hand. A. I. S. MacPherson, Edinburgh University, will take his place. A. L. McClure has also called off on account of a strained leg, and Wass, one of the successes of the Glasgow match, is to play again. The drawings for the two days came to £315.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)