|Ground:||Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v New Zealanders|
|Event:||New Zealand in British Isles 1949|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
Paying Scotland the compliment of including nine of their Test players at the start of their three days match at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, the New Zealanders provided a crowd of 12,000 with much of the free-hitting so dear to the hearts of Clydeside cricket followers by scoring 423 runs in the course of a five hours stay at the wicket.
The great hero, of course, was B. Sutcliffe, the left-handed batsman, who has already been hailed as the counterpart of Australia's Sir Donald Bradman.
When he left after scoring 183, his second highest total of the tour, in four hours and 10 minutes, he was given a great round of cheering as the reward for a classical display of perfect timing and brilliant footwork. Before being clean bowled by W. K. Laidlaw (Durham County), whose spinners have dismissed distinguished opponents so often, he had meted out heavy punishment to the variety of bowling, fast medium, and spin, that was sent up to him, finding gaps in a generally alert field by hitting twenty three 4s.
There had been rain at times during the day or two before, but it was not sufficient to enable one to say that the advantage enjoyed by batsmen for so many weeks had been translated to the bowlers, and the latter, one way and another, had a hard time though Laidlaw, G.W . Youngson (Aberdeenshire), and W. Nichol (Kelburne) stuck to their task manfully and had figures to show for their persistence and good length.
Scotland preserved an unbroken front thanks to the now celebrated partnership of G.L. Willatt (Grange) and T. R. Crosskey (Carlton) in the 45 minutes batting that was left to them, but they have undoubtedly a hard task ahead of them, especially if the wicket starts to break up as it was showing signs of doing, especially at the pavilion end on Saturday.
The New Zealanders have four Test bowlers, J. Cowie, H.B. Cave, T. B Burtt, and G. O. Rabone on duty, as well as another of good reputation, G.F. Cresswell.
The Scots bowlers were glad to see the last of Sutcliffe, who had made the major contribution by a long way to his side's score, and probably as happy that M.P. Donnelly did not seize the opportunity to convince the crowd that the opinion that has been made elsewhere that he is the best left-handed batsman in the world was correct.
Probably, if they got going simultaneously, Sutcliffe and Donnelly would deserve such a distinction as a pair, but, in any event, Donnelly, with no expressed liking for the well-pitched medium-fast deliveries of Youngson, looked uncomfortable, and spent an hour over getting 14.
In F. B. Smith, however, Sutcliffe found a partner after his own heart, and together the pair put on 126 for the fifth wicket. As a school teacher Smith might believe in the adage of sparing the rod and spoiling the child, but he had no similar sentiments in relation to Scottish bowlers.
Included in his repertoire was a terrific square cut, and to that he was indebted for many of his runs, which included one 6 and eight 4s in round about 50 minutes.
By the time Sutcliffe was out, eighth, at 342, the tourists were in a mood to entertain the crowd. The report that J. Cowie, better known as a bowler, had deep roots in Glasgow and had been at Hillhead High School before emigrating, had obviously preceded him, and he acknowledged the hearty reception accorded him by opening his shoulders and knocking up 47 including two 6s and five 4s in 30 minutes.
The "tail" wagged to such effect that he and H.B. Cave added 73 in a ninth wicket partnership to provide an exciting climax to the New Zealanders' innings.
Before he started to face the four Test bowlers of the tourists and, incidentally, show plenty of confidence, Crosskey owing to the muscle injury he suffered when playing against Warwickshire at Aberdeen, was given a rest from fielding. His place was taken by the twelfth man J.C. Scott (Uddingston), who did very well. As soon as Crosskey returned, Nichol, who is suffering from a similar disability, retired for a while.
When stumps were drawn at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, last night, Scotland, with another day's play to follow, were 148 short of the very handsome New Zealand first innings total, but they deserved commendation for fighting against the odds after W.M. Wallace, the acting captain of the tourists, had been left with no option but to make them follow-on.
The Scots were in arrears over the first innings to the extent of 286 runs, and any other course by Wallace would have made the third day nothing better than an exhibition, which would not have been popular, one imagines, with the crowd, which swelled to nearly 15,000 yesterday, a fine tribute to the tourists as well as to the weather which, with the breeze, shifting to the west was again summer-like.
The recovery was again due to the combined effectiveness of Willatt and Crosskey, who remained together for three hours and 20 minutes to finish with an overnight total which surpassed the collective endeavour of the Scottish XI before and just after lunch, when all the damage had been wrought by the tourists' spin bowlers, the stocky Burtt and the lanky Rabone.
Indeed, apart from Cave, the New Zealand captain relied on his best bowlers to do most of the work. Once they had got rid of Willatt, who added only a single run to his total of Saturday, and Crosskey, they were very much the masters of the situation and had excellent help from a well-placed field, notably on the leg side.
Bowling unchanged for two hours, Burtt finished with six wickets for 45 runs. Just how difficult he was to score off was proved by the fact that no fewer than 19 of his 31 overs were maidens.
Rabone had four wickets for 65, and in view of the success of the bowlers it was greatly to the liking of the crowd that the Scottish procession to the pavilion was punctuated by some brisk hitting by Sheppard, who had four 4s, Hermiston, with the same number, and Winrow, who had a 6.
Hermiston, particularly, lived up to the reputation he has built up for liveliness at Leith Links and elsewhere. The first ball he got from Rabone he drove for 4 and two overs later, off successive deliveries from Burtt, he did the same.
New Zealand's emphasis on spin was rather less pronounced when Scotland went in for the second time. Rabone was not employed at all, but with six others engaged the attack had plenty of variety.
Willatt and Crosskey batted with rare confidence, taking care of their wickets, the tactics demanded under such circumstances when it was of paramount importance to keep the game going, and letting the runs take care of themselves. Both did something to prove that Burtt was not so unplayable as he had been in the forenoon, speed not being the main essential.
Willatt took 160 minutes to reach his half-century safely, and in the same over Crosskey got to 40. Once the total had been taken to 100, both revealed occasional symptoms of becoming more dashing.
Cowie, who had seven fielders behind the wicket, very nearly caught Willatt off his own bowling, an escape which was celebrated by Crosskey when he slammed Sutcliffe, hardly in the same class as a bowler than as a batsman, over the boundary for his 50.
Willatt had five 4s and Crosskey six, and some idea of how well they had altered the prospect could be gained from the fact that some time before the adjournment, Wallace was adjusting his fielding positions instead of leaving them stationary, as he had done before.
Fifteen minutes after, the tea interval at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, last evening, H.B. Cave, the tall New Zealander, cracked the last ball of the fifth over beyond the boundary, to give the tourists a ten wickets victory over Scotland.
As I indicated after the first day's play, Scotland had a heavy task in hand to avoid defeat by a New Zealand team, including nine of their Test players. That not very wonderful prophecy was duly fulfilled, but at least the Scottish XI could derive some satisfaction that they kept the match going so long on the third day, and were not beaten by an innings, as all but the most optimistic thought they would be.
Nothing grows so tedious as a twice-told tale, but repetition cannot be avoided in the case of Willatt and Crosskey Scotland's opening partnership, whose experience of three days cricket is the most valuable asset the Scottish Cricket Union have had for years.
Against Warwickshire at Aberdeen last week they put on 189 in an opening-partnership. Yesterday their resistance to very much better bowling than the Midland County possessed produced 169, to ensure that the 8000 or so spectators were going to have better value for their admission money than once looked likely.
Crosskey needed a bit of the luck associated with all long innings, he might, for example, have been out in the"60s" if Donnelly, usually so safe with his hands, had accepted the chance of a catch in the slip, but he scored all round the wicket, which was no easy thing to do against such a well-placed-field. He hit nine 4s.
Willatt, who had one more boundary than the Carlton captain, was always essentially correct, even mechanically so when facing the spin bowling of Burtt, who had been the villain of the piece the previous day, though it was that bowler who disturbed Willatt's stumps just after his century had been reached, after a stay lasting five hours and five minutes in all.
After these batsmen had gone, the Scots did extremely well to remain long enough to reach a score of 299, a good fighting effort against such distinguished opponents.
This time, in contrast to the previous day, when the follow-on was enforced, the chief trouble confronting them was not the spin bowling of Burtt but the fast of Cowie, who, from the pavilion end, seemed to have increased his pace.
Half a dozen times he hit the stumps and with an analysis of six wickets for 66 was the principal contributor to New Zealand's big win. Burtt presented most of the problems to the Scottish "tail," despite a gallant resistance by Edward, who has a well developed habit of doing something useful in an awkward situation on the big occasion.
The New Zealanders were so certain to win that they could afford to forget about their " heavy artillery" as represented by Sutcliffe, Donnelly and Co., and leave the responsibility of getting the 14 runs they needed to "call it a day" to some of their less powerful batsmen, which Cresswell and Cave duly did when sent out to face the fastish attack of Youngson and Hermiston.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)
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