|Ground:||Whitehaugh Oval, Paisley|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v South Africans|
|Event:||South Africa in British Isles 1947|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
A century by J. Aitchison (Kilmarnock), who went in first and came out last, at the end of just over two hours batting, was the outstanding feature of the first day's play between Scotland and South Africa at Paisley, where the attendance of nearly 10,000 spectators was well on the way to a record for an international match this side of the Border.
Aitchison, too, who has excelled himself with a regular string of half-centuries since he first got his cap last year, had the well deserved distinction of being the first Scot to get the coveted century against South Africa in this country. The only other century recorded against a Dominions side is John's Kerr's against Australia. Altogether it was an encouraging day for Scottish Cricket, for South Africa fielded eight Test men and most of the bowlers who will be playing against England this week. With a bit of help from Sheppard, Aitchison provided a very solid bulwark to the tourists' bowling, and, though giving the semblance of a chance at 49, played some brilliant cricket during his stay of 250 minutes. He hit thirteen 4s, excelling so much in his drives through cover-point, that the South African captain, Nourse, had to strengthen the position, though, as soon as he sealed up the gap there, Aitchison got boundaries with some hefty hitting to long-on.
The other Scottish scoring followed unimpressive lines, but at all events, before the rain played havoc with the match when it was in a most interesting stage. In the last hour, the South Africans had lost a valuable wicket. They will have to do some hard thinking as well as hitting to win to-day.
It was an eminently satisfactory conclusion to a capital inauguration of representative cricket matches at Paisley that Scotland managed last night to force a draw with the South Africans. Perhaps, if one wanted to analyse the situation, it would be better to express the satisfaction in alternate fashion by saying that we avoided the innings defeat that A. D. Nourse, the tourist's captain, had in mind when he declared at the tea interval and gambled on the chance that the Scots were not good enough for 101 runs in their second venture.
It turned out to be almost a repetition of the match against Yorkshire, but while J. Aitchison, the century mater of the previous day saved Scotland then, it was W. Nichol who did the trick on his own home ground. Nichol struck an appropriately defiant note in a splendid saving effort, which lasted 82 minutes, and he was ably assisted by W. A. Edward, who was with him 55 minutes. They got so well settled that, as a variant from the defensive tactics that were needed and employed, they occasionally opened their shoulders. Nichol had three 4s and Edward one more. Stumps were pulled as soon as they had forced the draw, 15 minutes from the available time for play.
South Africa batted four hours before Nourse declared and they were so well on top of the Scottish bowling on a lifeless wicket that they could have batted all day had they wanted. Two of their players, G. M. Fullerton and D.W. Begbie, who had not so far played in a Test against England, batted brilliantly to score freely all round the wicket, despite some very alert fielding by the Scots.
Fullerton's total, the biggest of the match, was got in 140 minutes, and included one 6 and eight 4s. Begbie, who helped him to put on 160 runs in a second-wicket partnership, had four 4's. Hodge, who broke up their stand, and later took one of his own returns to dismiss Nourse, was Scotland's most aggressive bowler, though Henderson the slow left-hander, did much better than his final figures indicated.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)