|Ground:||North Inch, Perth|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v South Africans|
|Event:||South Africa in British Isles 1929|
DateLine: 4th February 2013
Good progress was made in the three days' game between Scotland and South Africa at Perth, in what is the only engagement the tourists have in the North Country. There was five hours play, and in that time the Scots were dismissed for 148, and four South Africans were got out for 126. Thus, while it may be said that Scotland did not at all badly, the tourists had a big advantage at the close of the first day's play, an advantage which should put them in a favourable position to secure a substantial lead when each side have completed an innings.
The men of Scotland took three hours to make their runs, and those of South Africa were at the wicket an hour less. Some good batting was seen by men on both sides, but there was never anything thrilling about the play. None of the batsmen who stayed for any length of time was in a hurry in making runs, and in that respect there was not a wide disparity between the sides, for Scotland scored at the rate of 49 runs an hour, and South Africa's average was about 60.
The South Africans, who were without their captain, H.G Deane, R.H. Catterall, H.B. Cameron, their wicketkeeper, B. Mitchell, and J.A.J. Christy, proved themselves to be a good all-round lot, but their cricket was probably in keeping with that which they have shown in county games than in Tests, which is equivalent to saying that they were not seen at their best.
Their fielding was below their highest standard, which is very high; their batting apart from that of W.H. Taylor, revealed nothing outstanding; and their bowling did not appear to be very difficult, with the exception of that of the left-hander N.A Quinn, after the lunch interval. His deliveries then gave a lot of trouble, and so did the leg breaks of Q. McMillan in a lesser degree.
These two did all the bowling after the interval, and were unchanged for an hour and forty minutes. Quinn was the most successful man of five bowlers tried.
The visitors seemed weary at times in the field, but if they made mistakes these did not seem to matter a great deal. It was different with the Scots, who had to pay dearly for I.J. Siedle being missed when 18 at deep leg off A.D. Baxter, and that bowler gave a "life" to Taylor just before the close of play, T.W. Watson thereby losing a wicket.
The Grange man's chance was a very simple one at short leg; that to McTavish was not so easy, though he got his hands right under the ball. Siedle went on to make 52, and Taylor, who was captain of the side, will resume batting this forenoon.
In the Scottish innings there were two men only who distinguished themselves, J. Kerr and A.D. Innes. But for them the total would have been a meagre one. The Scottish captain was at the wicket for close on two hours, and, as usual, exercised great caution, and he seemed to be in for one of his big totals when he went out to a slow break-ball, missed it, and was promptly stumped.
Both he and Innes had three 4's each, and if both made a risky stroke or two, neither gave a real chance. The Glasgow Academical took his cue from his captain, and played stubbornly, though it could not be said that either appeared to be wholly happy or confident.
There were, as ever, a few failures, and Scotland made a wretched start, for J.D. Martin, who stood for six hours against Ireland, was out for nothing in Quinn's second over, and a usually reliable batsman such as G.W.A. Alexander also failed to score.
W. Nicholson, the century maker against Ireland, batted with some assurance, but he, like Alexander, was snapped at the wicket before he got properly settled. One wicket was down for 1, two for 2, and three for 20, and then came a good stand between Kerr and Innes to raise the score to 84. Kerr was fourth man out, and the wicket of Innes was the tenth to be captured. He had hard luck in not reaching 50, and also in not carrying his bat.
Some of the other Scots batted feebly, but the "tail" wagged well, and both Watson and R.W. Sievwright, notably the former, who played nicely, made what were in the circumstances valuable contributions. The Uddingston man had two 4's and a 3 in his 18, and he and Innes put on 25 for the ninth wicket.
Four Scots were called to bowl, and of the four Dr Melville was the only one who did not meet with success. Sievwright gave most trouble, and was most successful.
Siedle had many good strokes, and showed his appreciation of his let-off by pulling Sievwright over the boundary for the only 6 of the day, and by having five 4's, but the best batting of the match came from Taylor. There was a crispness and style in all he did. His clever back play was a feature of his batting, and he got runs on both sides of the wicket in delightful fashion.
From a Scottish point of view, it was a misfortune that the chance he gave at 36 was not taken. Had it been accepted the position to be faced today would have been very much easier.
The weather, if dull at times, and there was a slight shower, was, on the whole, of the best, and in the late afternoon very warm. But the attendance was distinctly disappointing, and, all told, would not be greater than 4000.
Two days sufficed to bring the match between Scotland and the South Africans to a close, and the latter were victorious yesterday by an innings and 5 runs. It was a disappointing show the Scotsmen made, both in the field and at the wicket. After gaining a good deal of ground early, by reason of a few cheap wickets, and seeming to have a chance of getting the opposition out for a comparatively small lead on the first innings, the Scots found the game going badly against them.
They appeared to get into a rut when nothing would go well with them, and gradually the visitors took the upper hand and held it tightly. Missed chances by Scotsmen at a critical time had something to do with that. Then a ninth wicket partnership of over one hundred runs between H.W. Taylor and E.A. van der Merwe put the touring team in a strong position, and as the Scottish second innings effort was of a feeble character, all was over just before six o'clock.
N.A. Quinn was again the bowler who wrought the destruction. Little could be made of his left-arm "swingers." His five wickets cost but 33 runs, and over the whole match he captured eleven wickets at an average cost of under seven runs apiece. None of the Scots showed any confidence against him. Quinn bowled for long spells in both innings, but comparatively few runs could be made off his deliveries.
As in the first innings the Scottish "tail" men did well, but it never seemed a likely thing that play would be carried on into the third day, or indeed that the tourists would require to go in again. For the most part the Scotsmen batted weakly, but there was some consolation to be derived from the fact that seven of the eleven reached double figures. The highest score was that of W. O'B .Lindsay, who carried his bat for quite a well played 23, certainly a very useful contribution.
But as on Saturday, the feature of the day's play was the fine batting of Taylor, who again played in most attractive style. Scotland had good reason to regret the "life" he got at 36, for he added nearly a hundred runs to that figure.
Of the Scottish bowlers, A.D. Baxter bore the brunt, but if he took most wickets T.W. Watson had the better average. If erratic at times, the Grange man put plenty of spirit into his attack. The veteran R.W. Sievwright kept a good length, and no liberties could be taken with him.
Matters went well for Scotland at the start of play yesterday, for, with the score increased from 126 to 141, H.G. Owen-Smith hit a tame stroke to J. Kerr at mid-off, and was easily taken, and in Baxter's second over he claimed two victims at 159. He took a sharp return from Q. McMillan, and with the next ball he got the newcomer, C.L. Vincent, out for obstruction. McMillan came near to be taken from his first ball, which he put up very close to where W. Nicholson was fielding, deep behind the bowler, and if the Scots had been alive and active in the field as they might have been, Quinn might have been sent back without scoring.
He was missed at the wicket by Lindsay, and again Nicholson got to a ball close to the ropes off Sievwright, but could not hold it. It was a difficult chance. Baxter started well with three maiden overs, and in the second he had two wickets, and narrowly missed a "hat trick," for with the third ball he had the batsmen Quinn, well beaten, and if the wicketkeeper had not dropped the ball, following a touch in the next over, he would have had a third victim for no runs.
Taylor went on batting in good style. He reached his 50 after batting ninety minutes, and soon after had a great 6, a straight drive off Dr Melville. The second hundred went up after the innings had lasted three hours, which meant that 74 had been put on yesterday in an hour's time.
Taylor proceeded steadily for his century, but at 85 he should have been run out easily. Innes, however, returned the ball to the wrong end. Taylor and Merwe gave a lot of trouble, and though the latter was somewhat haphazard in his methods, and had some luck, the score mounted so rapidly that the fielding side quickly lost the advantage their good start had given them.
Many changes in the bowling were tried, but runs continued to come at a good rate, and Taylor had always the mastery of the attack, and a delightful drive to the boundary gave him his 100 after batting two hours and twenty minutes. The pair raised the total by 100 runs in about fifty minutes.
Taylor's fine innings was brought to a close by a smart catch at third slip by J.D. Martin, who took a fast ball close to the ground. There was but one blemish in the retiring batsman's innings, and that was on Saturday evening when his total stood at 36. His runs were got with equal facility all round, in front and behind the wicket, and on the on as well as the off side. His big hits were one 6 and fourteen 4's.
There is nothing specially noteworthy about Scotland's second innings, during which the South Africans did a lot of good work in the field and also displayed form in that respect which was not of the highest class.
A.D. Innes was run out by a smart throw in, and Sievwright lost his wicket in an unlucky manner. He had Martin to run for him, and in attempting a short one, the Watsonian slipped and fell and never had a chance of completing the run. At least three "lives" were given, and Kerr, Innes, and Lindsay were the batsmen who benefited, but in no case was the mistake a serious one for the opposition.
None of the batsmen made a long stay. Kerr was proceeding in his own way, and always looked as if he would be difficult to dislodge, until he snicked a rising ball from Quinn, and Nicholson was out in a similar fashion from the second ball he received.
Alexander had a shaky start, but he was at the wicket for a sufficient time to have settled, and while he and Innes were together there was a faint hope that the Scots might make a fight, but he was bowled by a good length ball by Owen-Smith, the South African hero of the Leeds Test game. Dr Melville shaped promisingly and so did the Cupar youth, but there was never any real fight in the game despite the plucky efforts of the men who went in late.
It was not a game which brought much credit to the Scottish eleven, who were well and soundly beaten. Perhaps the wicket was a trifle difficult after the heavy rain during the night, and the ball certainly got up awkwardly at times, but Taylor was not troubled at all, and batted as if the conditions were favourable.
The attendance on a fine day would not exceed 1500 all told.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)