|Ground:||Raeburn Place, Edinburgh|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v South Africans|
|Event:||South Africa in British Isles 1924|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
Scotland's eleven who are opposing the South African cricketers in the two days' match at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, had no reason to be dissatisfied with the part they took yesterday in the opening day's play. They batted for close upon four hours for the quite respectable total of 177, and got rid of three of the best batsmen in the South African team for 95, which took the visitors and hour and three quarters to make.
The wicket, which had been protected by tarpaulins, was in fairly good condition, though wet in parts, and it was never easy unless for a time after the rolling it received between innings. There is no doubt that it helped the bowlers to get a lot of spin on the ball, and the four whom the South African captain called on, and, as the analyses show, he spread the work pretty evenly among them, gave the Scottish batsmen a lot of trouble.
The latter had to play very cautiously, and all did so, with perhaps the exception of Dr. Phillips and M. Patten, who played their usual Saturday afternoon game, and were in a hurry to get runs, particularly the Carlton man. The result was he got none, though the ball that beat him he attempted to play and not to hit.
C.P. Carter was the most successful of the South African bowlers, and it was after lunch that he got all his wickets. Probably the best of the bowlers, however, was J.M. Blankenberg, who made the ball turn at times very awkwardly and who repeatedly deceived the batsmen by his break.
More than once he beat the man with the bat without hitting the wicket. C.D. Dixon also bowled well, but E.P. Nupen was not very successful. It was noteworthy that no use was made of the fast bowler of the team, G.F. Bissett. Probably H.W. Taylor was of opinion that the wicket was too slow to suit him.
The Scots were not dismayed by the early dismissal of J. Kerr, who usually does well in these "big" games, and it was a satisfactory feature of the Scottish innings that no fewer than seven of the eleven got into double figures, though no one went very far, J.A. Fergusson being top scorer with thirty three.
He seemed well settled for a bigger score when he was dismissed by a brilliant catch in the slips. It was the best bit of work the South Africans did in that line, and their display in the field was not particularly bright. More than one chance, even granted that some of them were difficult, was given and not accepted, and though the fielders could not be accused of giving away many runs unnecessarily their ground work was not so clean and sure as it might have been.
Too often was the ball not taken at the first attempt, and in that respect the visitors could have taken a lesson from the Scots, who fielded remarkably well, though Patten at the wicket was hardly in his best form. Even at that, however, he compared favourably with the South African keeper G.A.L. Hearne.
The Scottish batting, if a trifle shaky at times and lacking in confidence, was of a satisfactory character, and one liked the way the ball was kept on the ground. The rate of scoring was certainly never fast, but that was hardly to be expected under the circumstances, and all the Scots who scored took credit out of the game.
Fergusson was probably the most confident of the lot, but both W.N. Walker and R.S. Clark played good cricket after the steadied down, and so did G.L.D. Hole and T.D. Watt, the latter batting towards the end of the innings in a way which suggested that he had come to stay.
C.S. Paterson was never really at home, but he had one of the best and heftiest drives of the day. He and Hole were at the wicket for forty five minutes; Walker for an hour and five minutes; Clark for ten minutes longer; and Fergusson's innings lasted just under two hours.
The most attractive batting of the day was undoubtedly seen when Taylor and R.H. Catterall were together at the start of the South African innings. Both played sound and profitable cricket, and made use of a variety of strokes. They were an interesting pair, and, thanks to them, 50 went up after forty minutes play. The remaining 45 runs of the innings took the visitors an hour and five minutes.
Of the Scottish bowlers Walker did best with two wickets for 10 runs.
At the close of the day's play the match was left in an interesting condition with the South Africans 82 runs behind with seven wickets in hand. They have something to do yet if they are to secure their first victory of the tour. Provided there is no rain before a resumption is made today, the wicket may be expected to play better than it has yet done.
The attendance was hardly what it might have been, and would probably fall short of 3000, all told, and a good half of those present were schoolboys.
There were two changes from the Scottish side originally chosen, C.S. Paterson and T.D. Watt coming in for G.P. Burt, Uddingston, and R.W. Sievwright, Arbroath United. The South Africans left out four of their best men in M.J. Commaile, A.D. Nourse, S.J. Pegler, and T.A. Ward, their wicketkeeper.
Scotland did not start too well against the bowling of Nupen and Dixon, for with the total at 6 Kerr, who had opened with characteristic carefulness, in trying to pull a short-pitched ball to the boundary, did not hit it hard enough, and was out to a well judged catch between square leg and mid-on. That was a disaster for the home side. Much had been hoped for from the Greenock man.
His club mate, Walker, and Clark, of Aberdeenshire and the Carlton, were not too sure of themselves for a time, and the latter was missed by Dixon when 4 in the first over sent down by Carter, who had gone on for Dixon at 16. The fieldsman was standing at leg-square.
Both batsmen steadied up later and Clark had a fine off-drive along the turf for 3 and a great cut to the boundary off Nupen. Walker, too, had a "life." Carter might have got him when 9. It was a return to the bowler, and Carter just got to the ball with his left hand.
The batsman showed his gratitude for the let-off by off-driving the next ball to the boundary. After a turn at the pavilion end, Blankenberg crossed over, and in his first over following the change bowled Walker with a ball that seemed to come in a bit from the off. The batsman was well beaten. The wicket had raised the total from 6 to 58, and had got the runs in a little under an hour's time.
Another wicket fell eight runs later, and after a succession of seven maidens, four by Dixon, Phillips was bowled, and four men were thus out for 69. It was a decided change in the game, and that against the batting side.
The bowlers were getting a lot of work on the ball at this stage, and Blankenberg in particular was making it turn both ways. Paterson gave a hard chance in the slips to Blankenberg off Dixon soon after his arrival, but the catch would have been a great one had it been taken. Fergusson and Paterson batted quietly up to the lunch interval, and neither was particularly happy. Up to then Blankenberg had bowled twelve overs, and of these seven were maidens, and he had taken two wickets for 8 runs.
The interval not outs, Fergusson and Paterson, showed more confidence on resuming, and by steady play brought the total to the 100, which was reached after a little over two hours' play. At that point the Perthshire captain had been at the wicket for exactly an hour for 15 runs.
The two did not scruple to run an occasional short one, and that Paterson had gained in courage was shown by the fact that he had a full-hearted drive off Dixon's bowling. Another yard or two would have made it a 6.
The fifth wicket put on 41, when Paterson touched a rising ball, and was neatly taken by M.J. Susskind, who was fielding at very fine slip. After a succession of ten singles, Hole opened out and drove Dixon finely to the boundary. It was a well placed and safe stroke.
In the next over the Scottish captain drove Carter along the ground for 3, and with Fergusson also hitting Dixon to the boundary, the score got a much needed and useful lift up. All these strokes were to the off, and that of Fergusson was a really good one, the ball never rising off the ground.
Hole and Fergusson stayed together for over half an hour, in the course of which 33 runs were made, but with the total at 143 Fergusson snicked one from Carter, and was out to a fine catch at short slip, the fieldsman getting the ball low down and falling as he took it.
Three later Hole was also out to the same fielder in the same position. That was three catches for Susskind in succession, and seven men were out for 147. Watt put up a ball soon after arriving, and would probably have been caught by Taylor at cover-point had the latter not lost sight of the ball in the sun.
Patten had a happy go lucky innings, which included two 4's and two 3's, and was out to a catch at mid-off from a mishit, which went high into the air. Watt's innings was a most useful one. The Scottish innings lasted three hours and three quarters.
Carter took the last five wickets, and altogether 51 runs were hit off his bowling. No fewer than 35 of these were got before he claimed a victim. Thus from the time he got a wicket he had five for 16 runs.
Anderson and Scobie had charge of the Scottish bowling, and the opening pair for South Africa, Taylor and Catterall, had no difficulty in meeting the attack. Runs came along more than steadily.
After beginning with a maiden, Scobie proved expensive, and Taylor paid particular attention to the slow bowler, who found some difficulty in keeping a good length. On several occasions the South African captain made "full-tossers" of Scobie's deliveries. So smartly did the batsmen score that 50 runs were got in about 40 minutes, and both men played with the utmost confidence.
Scobie did better later, and it was Anderson who was the first bowler to be changed. He was relieved by Walker at 48, and 12 runs later the Greenock bowler got Catterall out lbw. That would be a welcome relief to the Scottish players, who must have had visions of the two staying in till the close of play.
Two runs later Taylor left. He played a ball from Scobie quietly to leg, and it went straight to the safe hands of Anderson. His had been a thoroughly good innings. With two wickets down for 62, matters had taken a decided turn in Scotland's favour.
The wicket was obviously getting more difficult again with the effect of the roller having worn off. At 80 Walker got a second victim by an lbw decision, but that was the last of the Scottish successes for the day. Hole went on himself at 80, Anderson resumed five runs later, and just at the close of play Phillips and Watt were called on for one over each, but with no effect, P.A.M. Hands and Hearne playing out time.
The South African cricketers have still to gain their first victory. Against Scotland at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh yesterday, they had to be content with another draw, the sixth in eight matches, and at no time during a full day's cricket was there any prospect of the game being brought to a definite conclusion.
The weather was all against bright cricket, and with neither side being in a position to go out for a win, play for the most part was lacking in keenness. There was never enough of reality about the proceedings to stir up enthusiasm.
During the closing stages, after Scotland had declared their second innings closed with four wickets down for 163, and had left the touring team with an hour and a quarter to bat, there was no real fight in the game. There might have been an exciting finish had the South Africans decided to risk something in an attempt to secure the runs. But they did not, and so the match petered out to an indecisive and tame conclusion.
On a dead wicket they evidently felt that the task was too much for them, and that it was not worth their while taking the off-chance of a defeat, and particularly a defeat from Scotland. And that they lost two wickets for four runs in their second innings was certainly calculated to induce them to be careful.
The fact that during Scotland's second innings neither J.M. Blankenberg nor E.P. Nupen was put on to bowl, and that the captain himself and R.H. Catterall, who had not previously bowled during the tour, took a turn in the attack, showed that even then the South Africans were not very serious about winning.
The play, however, had its interesting points, and its leading feature was the great stand made by J. Kerr and C.S. Paterson, which put on no fewer than 98 runs. That was a remarkable performance for the two Scots, and if neither gave a faultless display both took much credit out of their batting.
By reason of his 80 not out Kerr added one more to his many triumphs in representative cricket. It was a characteristic Kerr innings. Never losing sight of the ball, it was a dour, determined defence he offered, but he rarely failed to score off the loose balls. He was at the wicket all through the innings, which lasted two hours and forty minutes.
Paterson after a dull start, scored well, and his cutting was probably the best seen in the game. The Carlton man came out of the match well with 66 for once out, and two wickets for 7 runs.
Another satisfactory feature was that the South Africans obtained a lead of but 9 runs on the first innings, and they would not have got that had it not been for a bad blunder in the field which enabled Blankenberg to make 47 instead of only 7. A third reason for Scottish satisfaction, apart from the fact that the result was a draw, was that the Scottish captain was able to declare his second innings with only four wickets down.
The weather was altogether unfavourable for cricket, and during a considerable part of the day play proceeded, though rain was falling, and that was especially the case while the South Africans were in the field. Had they felt so disposed, a halt might have been called, and, of course, the fact that the ball was wet and the ground insecure told against the bowling and fielding side.
Everything, as regards the weather and the conditions generally, was against the tourists, as, indeed, has been the case all through the tour, but their display in Edinburgh, even allowing that some of their best men were not playing, was most impressive, and that applies particularly to their work in the field.
As on Thursday, catches were dropped yesterday, and the ground fielding was never of a high order. Nor, apart from H.W. Taylor, was there anything specially distinctive about their batting, and the fact that Scotland's scores were 177 and 163 for four was in itself not very complimentary to their bowling.
There was little over a thousand spectators yesterday. The drawings on the first day exceeded £100.
Good work was done by the Scots immediately the game was resumed. W. Anderson and T.D. Watt were the bowlers, and in the former's first over, with only 3 runs added, P.A.M. Hands was surprised and bowled with a ball that seemed to come in a lot from the off.
Two overs later, with the total at 100 exactly, Anderson met with a further success when he got G.A.L. Hearne lbw. At that point he had taken two wickets for 3 runs in the day's play. Half the side were thus out, and there was a chance of Scotland leading on first innings. And possibly that might have been the case had an unfortunate misunderstanding between Watt and G.L.D. Hole not given J.M. Blankenberg a "life."
The batsman put the ball high into the air, and it should have been a catch for either of the fielders. But between them they muddled the opportunity, each leaving the ball for the other to take. As matters turned out, it was a serious mistake, and had a big effect on the game, for Blankenberg went on to score freely. When he gave the chance he had made but 7 runs.
He got his runs by sound bright cricket. His best hits were five 4's and four 3's. The stand with H.G. Deane for the sixth wicket raised the score from 100 to 158. It was left to C.S. Paterson to finish off the innings. He was not called on to bowl until the scores were at peels, 177 each, and from the eight balls he delivered he took two wickets for 7, including a hit for 4 by Blankenberg, who was ultimately taken at the wicket in attempting another big drive.
The second wicket that fell to Paterson's credit came from a fine one-handed catch off his own bowling. The South African innings lasted three hours and twenty minutes, and they finished with a lead of 9 runs on the first innings.
A drizzle of rain was falling when Scotland began their second innings, and the South African bowlers were Hearne and G.F. Bissett, neither of whom had been called on in Scotland's first innings, during which the former kept the wicket.
Bissett is the fast bowler of the side and being but a youngster of 18 years, is being carefully nursed. He has a nice easy going action and a run of about 15 yards. The wicket, however, was too dead for the fast bowler, and Bissett was never very effective. He got no response out of the pitch, and the ball invariably kept low.
Kerr played him boldly and confidently, but Walker was not so sure, and was beaten more than once. After five overs, Bissett was taken off and replaced by C.P. Carter, who had bowled so successfully in the first innings. The score was then 30, and at 32 two wickets fell, and both to the new bowler in his first over.
With his third ball he bowled Walker, who had been missed by Blankenberg when 3, and with his fifth he had R.S. Clark lbw. J.A. Fergusson stayed while 30 were being added, and he also fell a victim to the slow left-hander, who, with his five in the first innings, had thus taken eight wickets in succession.
Kerr had two 4's in succession off Carter, whom he played easily, and his total mounted quickly. He seemed quite at home with all the bowling. J.E. Phillips again went in for swiping and did not stay long, before being bowled by a ball he meant to drive to the boundary.
Paterson, who had a "life" before he scored, Taylor failing to take a catch at mid-off, opened very quietly, being content with defence, and it was not until he had been at the wicket for nearly an hour that he began to score. It was an expensive miss the letting off of Paterson, for he and his partner put on no fewer than 98 runs, and neither had been disposed of when the innings was closed.
Bissett had another brief spell of bowling, but without success. Kerr was missed by M.J. Susskind at the wicket at 40, and again at 65 by Nupen at mid-off. His hits included eight 4's and four 3's, and he got his runs all round the wicket. Paterson had three 4's, and all were obtained on the off-side.
By the time the South Africans' second innings began a lot of the interest had gone out of the match, but the start was of a sensational order, for Catterall was bowled at 2, and Hands was out lbw with the total at 4.
After that Susskind and Hearne kept together for nearly sixty minutes, and a quarter of an hour before the time fixed for closing the stumps were drawn. A light rain was then falling, and the light was far from good.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)