Scotland v Australia 6 August 1938
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
Scorecard:Scotland v Australians
Event:Australia in British Isles 1938

DateLine: 2nd February 2013




Scotland were, beaten by Australia by 61 runs in their one-day match at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, but most of the 10,000 spectators who saw the game left the ground highly encouraged that they presented such an unexpectedly stubborn resistance to the tourists.


The Scottish display was in sharp contrast to that at Broughty Ferry in the two previous days when the Australians had enjoyed the luxury of exhibition cricket and flogged the bowling. Scotland did not, it is true show great improvement in batting against the best bowling the Australians sent up, but their attack was of a much higher standard than it had been at Broughty Ferry and indeed, for a time the tourists were faced with the prospect of defeat.


The task of passing the Australian total of 143 should not have frightened the home batsmen as it did. Only Middlesex and Yorkshire have got the tourists out for a smaller figure than that this summer, but Scotland's failure clearly emphasised the fact that the majority of them have not yet found the secret of how to play spin bowling The last five wickets added only 10 runs. Not one of the tail revealed any confidence in playing the deliveries famous W.J. O'Reilly and were completely baffled by the puzzling spin he imparted to the ball, as well as by his astonishing variety of length and pace. He finished with seven wickets for 39 runs.


They had not the same difficulty in playing the slow leg breaks of M.G. Waite or the express deliveries of E. L. McCormick and P. Gibb and K. R. Davidson did well to take the score to 37 before the latter fell the first victim to O'Reilly whom S.F. McCabe had brought on in place of McCormick. Then the rot started, and, apart from Wensley, the West of Scotland club's professional from Sussex, who tried splendidly to force the pace he got 2Q runs in quick time, and had the audacity to drive a ball from O'Reilly over the pavilion for 6 none of those who followed got out of the semi apologetic stage.


Half the Scottish side were out for 58, and Wensley left at 72 when he was dismissed for obstruction off E. C. S. White, the medium paced left-hander. O'Reilly bowling to his well-known leg-trap and with his fielders gradually working closer in towards the wicket, continued merrily on his way as the chief guardian of the Australian prestige, and claimed two wickets in the same over, his victims being W. Nichol and S. J. Thomson, the latter being out to the first ball he received a short-pitched one, from which C. W Walker promptly whipped off the bails.


The Australian bowler had evidently notions of obtaining a hat-trick, for he -pulled in his field still closer as a welcome to A. Paris. The West Lothian man survived the first ball hit a boundary, and then opened his shoulders to one to present McCormick with the chance, which was gratefully accepted, to take a fine catch in- front oŁ the pavilion. K. S. Hodge, the Greenock .player, entirely failed to judge the pace of the first ball he received from White, and was out in the same way as Thomson had been.


Everyone would have seen a better finish had the Scottish batting been nearer the standard of their bowling, which was skilfully handled by Gibb, the captain from Yorkshire, who had won the toss, but elected to put the tourists in to bat on a slowish wicket. That it was not greatly to the liking of the Australians was proved by the fact that their first three wickets were down for 21 runs, in the collection of which they had been remarkably subdued.


Scotland's encouraging start was due to the variety in their medium-paced bowling the in-swingers of Hodge, the out swingers of Paris, the off-spinners of J. S. Symon (Perthshire), and the nicely-judged length of Thomson. The last three mentioned all got the encouragement of getting a wicket in their first overs, though Hodge seemed more difficult to play in spite of his failure to get a victim.


With four of their men back in the pavilion for 38 runs, the tourists could not afford to be in any holiday mood, and it was not until S. G. Barnes was joined by McCabe that the batsmen could truly claim to have taken the attack in hand. McCabe batted beautifully if less adventurously than Barnes, and the score had been taken to 90 before he fell a victim to a clever catch by Gibb from a leg-spinner by-Thomson.


J.H. Fingleton and Barnes stole many short runs before they were separated, and the former scored from some delightful late cuts, but once Paris had got him out with a yorker, the Scottish bowling was well on top again, and the Australian innings soon closed. They had been at the wicket two and three-quarter hours and Scotland were left with about 30 minutes less to make a game of it .


The Scottish fielding was almost as alert as the bowling was steady, Gibb, Wensley, and Nichol all doing excellent work in saving runs. It. would have been interesting to see how the famous Don Bradman would have fared under such circumstances. No doubt the Scotland team would have welcomed his presence as much as the spectators. It was learned that he was still in London.


The Scottish Cricket Union had every reason to be pleased over the success of the match. The crowds they got over the Australians' visits to Broughty Ferry and Glasgow would leave them well in pocket, though the gate receipts would undoubtedly have been increased had Bradman taken part in one or other of the matches.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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