|Scorecard:||Warwickshire v Scotland|
|Event:||Scotland in England 1948|
DateLine: 30th January 2013
There was only three hours play in the first of the three days match between Warwickshire and Scotland at Edgbaston yesterday. The heavy clouds and drizzle suggested that the conditions of Old Trafford that baulked England in the third Test were pursuing the Scots.
The ground was sodden with the rain of the previous day, but at 3.45, after several consultations and after a fresh wicket had been prepared, play began. There was no wind to hasten the drying process, but when the county, who won the toss, decided to bat, it was quite obvious that the wicket was playing easier than might have been expected and that the Scottish bowling presented few problems to the home batsmen.
The most favourable thing that could be claimed for the fastish attack of Hodge and Youngson was that for the first hour they pegged Gardner and Taylor down to scoring at a funeral pace. During that time only 25 runs were made, and there was occasionally ironic cheering when either batsman hit the ball at all.
Taylor was out with the total at 45 as the result of a smart catch on the leg side by McLaren, the wicketkeeper, off Hodge's bowling, and Gardner at 75 when he was clean bowled by Youngson.
Afterwards Ord, who knocked up 50 in sixty-five minutes, and would have been even quicker with a faster outfield, and Maudsley, his captain, scored in livelier style. Old had hit six 4s when play finished for the day.
Scotland's spin bowlers, Laidlaw and Nichol, did not get much turn on the ball nor a great deal of help from their fielders, whose ground work was not so good as it was against Yorkshire.
Though the Weather was always dull and miserably cold at Birmingham yesterday a full day's play was possible in the match between Warwickshire and Scotland.
The visitors were unlucky in that W. K. Laidlaw, their captain, who had strained a muscle, and was off and on the field at intervals, could take no part in their bowling, but he was able to bat, and in the last half hour, with W.A. Edward, he struck a defiant note in endeavouring to stave off the possibility of Scotland having to follow on.
Once again, as always seems to happen, the batting was patchy, and it was not very encouraging to lose Willatt with the total at five, Barkham when it was 13, and Aitchison when it was 50. The fourth wicket pair, Lumsden and Nichol, however, pulled the side round with a stand that brought 62 runs.
Though I doubt if the Warwickshire bowling was even as hostile as that of Hodge and Youngson for Scotland, Lumsden played a really sparkling innings, in which he was completely at ease. Driving with rate power he had nine 4s In his 66 which he got in ninety five minutes before being bowled round his legs by a ball from Kardar, whom we all knew better as Abdul Hafeez when he was with the last Indian team in this country. He is now at Oxford University.
Warwickshire, some of the spectators thought, had declared too early, but in any event they had been five and three-quarter hours in all at the wicket, and Ord; their century maker, had played perfectly for four hours of that time.
He hit ten 4s, but though his play was flawless, he was lucky not to be out at 70, when he drove straight into the hands of R.M MacFarlane, the Uddingston player, and Scotland's twelfth man, who was fielding when Laidlaw was off.
The catch was not accepted, and the failure was expensive, as a wicket at that time would have been very helpful to Scotland's prospects. Later, Ord became unwell, and did not field while Scotland batted.
Only the clock beat Scotland in their most gallant attempt to beat Warwickshire at Birmingham yesterday. Another half-hour and they would have done it, but W. K. Laidlaw, the Scottish captain, did not ask for that time as he was entitled to do, probably wishing to return the gesture that R.H. Maudsley, the home captain, had made, by making what most people thought was a premature declaration on the first day, and so rather lessening his own chances of getting Scotland out twice.
In any event, when Scotland, who had avoided the follow-on that looked like coming to them, were left with the considerable task of getting 236 runs in two and a quarter hours to win, they gave chase in the most adventurous fashion, and there was a rare breeziness about the way they attacked the county bowling. It was ever so much livelier than anything that Warwickshire had been able to do.
As the sun started to shine for the first time in a week, the Scots forced the pace, but, if the opening partnership between Willatt and Aitchison was good and raised 55 runs before the latter was out to a marvellous catch off a full-blooded drive, it was nothing so hectic as that between the Grange player and Lumsden, who let hardly a ball go unpunished, and put on 83 in thirty-seven minutes.
During that time Lumsden, who hit one 6 and four 4's, got his second half-century of the match before being stumped by R.H. Spooner, the county's regular wicket-keeper, who was allowed under the new rule to deputise for J. T. Kendall, who had hurt a finger yesterday.
Hardly less enterprising, if not so merciless on the bowlers, Willatt, who played an invaluable innings and showed fine judgment in his running, had six 4's.
It was an eminently satisfactory conclusion to a sporting match that Scotland should recover so well and get a most creditable draw. They were only 76 runs short of victory, and nobody could say that the feat was accomplished against bowling and fielding that lacked quality. Warwickshire were the first to admit that time had been on their side.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)