Sussex v Scotland 1, 3 & 4 July 1950
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:County Ground, Hove
Scorecard:Sussex v Scotland
Event:Scotland in England 1950

DateLine: 30th January 2013




Day 1:
J. Aitchison, a clergyman who plays for Kilmarnock, and J.D. Henderson, tall Forfarshire left-hander, figured in an attractive eighth-wicket partnership at Hove, just when Scotland looked like being dismissed for a small score.


At one period Scotland had 87 on the board for the loss of only two wickets. Willatt batted for an hour and fifty minutes in a workmanlike although subdued fashion before hitting a full toss from Wood into the hands of James Langridge, fielding in the gully. Chisholm also threw his wicket away and, with seven men out for 119, Scotland were unhappily placed. Then Henderson joined the resolute Aitchison, and the Sussex attack lost its sting.


For a number nine batsman Henderson showed unexpected skill. He never appeared in the least difficulty with the bowling, and used his fine reach to good purpose. Beginning with neat deflections on either side of the wicket, he made effortless drives and pulls before being deceived by C. Oakes.


The eighth wicket partnership increased the total by 89 as a result of 70 minutes entertaining cricket. Aitchison, naturally keen to complete his century, hit out at almost every delivery before being finely taken on the mid-on boundary when nine short of three figures.


Aitchison never made anything like a mistake during his three hours stay. He relied chiefly upon drives to bring him his runs, with one 6 (four from an overthrow) and six 4s as his most remunerative strokes.


John Langridge and Smith opened in confident fashion for Sussex, but Scotland paid the penalty for lapses in the field. Smith, when five and the total 11, should have been taken in the slips off Youngson, while John Langridge gave a chance in the slips when his score was 44, Henderson being the unlucky bowler.


The 100 was obtained without loss in as many minutes, John Langridge's share being 50. Smith also reached his half-century just before the close, and Sussex finished 106 behind with all their wickets standing.


Day 2:
Scotland took a long time to break up the opening Sussex partnership at Hove, yesterday, but afterwards they met with considerable encouragement.


John Langridge and Smith took the score to 188, the highest Sussex opening partnership of the season, in a little over three hours. Then they fell in quick succession to Laidlaw, Smith hit fourteen 4's and Langridge six.


Laidlaw, a right-arm spinner, who disguises the googlie cleverly, secured the first four wickets in the course of 10.2 overs, six of which were maidens, for 13 runs. An Edinburgh player, he has been assisting Durham in the minor counties competition and was at one time highly thought of by Glamorgan.


Once the pitch began to take spin, James Langridge alone played him with any confidence, while George Cox, who is having his best season ever, was most unhappy.


Willie Nichol, the Kelburne left-arm slow bowler, also bowled with commendable accuracy, but neither Laidlaw nor Nichol had much luck until the Sussex total was nearing the 200 mark. Then Laidlaw enjoyed his successful spell between dismissing Smith and the fall of the fourth wicket.


Youngson, the Aberdeenshire medium-paced bowler, also impressed, making the ball rear awkwardly at times and causing the Sussex opening pair some anxiety. When he took over the new ball he had all the late batsmen in difficulties, with the exception of James Langridge.


Willatt and Crosskey batted with considerable assurance when Scotland went in a second time, 82 behind, Sussex having declared at 302 for 8, although Crosskey, when seven, gave a sharp chance to first slip off Bates.


Willatt placed the ball skilfully but survived one nasty over from Bates, when nearly every delivery rose sharply. Play was curtailed by an hour and a half owing to continuous rain during the early hours of the morning. By the close Scotland had reduced their arrears to 44 without loss.


Day 3:
Scotland came near to achieving a notable success at Hove yesterday, only the patience and skill of James Langridge enabling Sussex to draw the match.


The performances of the two captains were outstanding. Guy Willatt, the Scottish captain, playing one of his last games for Scotland , rendered his side great service. He leaves Edinburgh Academy for Repton at the end of the summer term, and will captain Derbyshire next season.


From the start of his innings, Willatt never made a mistake, facing the spin and medium pace bowlers with confidence, and being prompt to punish the loose delivery.


His colleagues, however, lacked his assurance, and Henderson, one of the heroes of the first innings, was sent back second ball, a heavy blow for Scotland. Aitchison looked like putting up another big performance, so confidently did he open, before mistiming a ball from Charlie Oakes.


At lunch Scotland held a slender lead of 43 with half their second innings wickets gone.


Willatt found a useful helpmate in the Kelburne all-rounder Nichol, and he seemed certain to reach his century, when Cox brought off a glorious one-handed catch at fine leg. It was a piece of bad luck for Willatt, who had thoroughly deserved a three figure total.


Batting for four hours, Willatt, who hit seven fours, impressed by his sound defence. At the same time, he employed a rich variety of strokes, his timing to leg being particularly good.


Aided by fortune, Cosh, the Kilmarnock wicketkeeper, showed something like his customary enterprise, and in the end Sussex were set to get 154 for victory with two hours remaining, an imposing task.


This was soon proved when four Sussex wickets had gone for only 43, and half the side were dismissed for 56. J.D. Henderson, the Forfarshire left-hander, who played such an important part in Scotland's rally on the opening day, was chiefly responsible for the Sussex collapse, and at one time he looked like running through the side.


But James Langridge once again came to his side's rescue to prove his worth as a batsman in a crisis.


Scotland can look back upon the match with very pleasant memories.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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