Scotland v Australia 8, 9 & 10 July 1912
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
Scorecard:Scotland v Australians
Event:Australia in British Isles 1912

DateLine: 31st January 2013




Day 1:
A full day's cricket was seen yesterday at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, in the first match between the Australians and Scotland, and the Colonials were batting practically all day. Scotland did well to dispose of the Australians for under 300 runs, and if Bardsley's great innings of 149 were deducted, the Colonials' total would have been a meagre one.


Their innings was, indeed, pretty much a one man show; at all events, no more than two men gave any serious trouble. The other nine only put together 58 among them. Scotland it is true, had some luck in disposing of two batsmen like Jennings and Macartney before a run had been scored, but, apart from that, no great fortune attended the Scotsmen, who had to work hard for all the successes that came their way, and the great ease and steadiness displayed by Bardsley and Kelleway during their long partnership, which realised 172, was enough to break the heart of any side.


The Scots, however, stuck gamely to their work, and at no time did the fielding show any sign of slackness. As against the South Africans, Sievwright was the notable success of the day with the ball, only his success was greater on this occasion, and it was a splendid performance on his part to take seven wickets for 71 runs, particularly as his victims included Jennings, Macartney and Bardsley.


It was his ball that broke from the off and gave his opponents most trouble. The Australians left out Gregory, Emery, Carkeek, and Matthews. Gregory had meant to play, but was not feeling very fit yesterday morning, and decided to take a rest. He, however, will be on duty again at Perth at the end of the week, when the second match with Scotland will be entered upon.


An accident happened previous to the start, which at one time threatened to deprive Mushet of his chance of playing. While practising on the Academy ground, he had the misfortune to play a ball off his bat on to his forehead, and a nasty cut was made above his eye. Happily, however, he was able to play after having been at the surgeon and having two stitches put into his eyebrow. He did not, however, take the field till after lunch, and J. Harper Orr acted as substitute.


The day was fine all through, the rain that had threatened at times fortunately holding off, and there would be an attendance of about 3000 during the match, and should Scotland be able to save the follow on today, to do so 146 runs will have to be got, a good fight may be seen, and the match may go over the three days. The arrangement in any case got a good send-off yesterday.


It was an extraordinary start that the game had, and one which boded well for Scotland's prospects of making a decent show. Benskin opened with a maiden over, but Sievwright at once met with success. In his first over he secured a couple of wickets, and that before a run had been scored.


Jennings snicked his second ball so distinctly that the sound was heard clearly round the ropes, and Gibson, the wicket-keeper, did not allow the chance to slip him. Then Macartney's second ball was his last. He tried to pull a ball that got up higher and quicker than he had anticipated, and put it up in the direction of mid-on, where Ringrose, with a quick step to the right and an outstretched hand brought about the dismissal of the "crack" batsman of the season.


From one point of view this was very satisfactory; from another, it was disappointing, for Macartney was the batsman whose play a lot of people had come to see. Caution was the order for the Colonials after these sensational successes for Scotland, and quiet, steady cricket was seen, with nothing noteworthy happening until at 24 Benskin got through Mayne's defence, and had shattered his wicket.


Thus the game continued to go in Scotland's favour, though that was the end for the time being of the Australian "rot." With Bardsley, the left-hander, and Kelleway, the "Scotton" of the side, together no risks were taken, and runs were never forced.


Benskin and Sievwright were the bowlers after lunch, and, as before, no risks were taken by either batsman. They were content to play the waiting game, and when the loose ones did come along they were severely punished, Bardsley, in particular, being hard on any balls on the leg side, as most left-handers are.


It was by hits in that direction that he got almost all his runs, and one stroke off Benskin he sent to the boundary almost over his shoulder. Another double change in the bowling was tried at 128, at which figure Grieve had his first try with the ball.


Ringrose was given a trial at the other end, and in his first over Gibson gave Kelleway a "life" at the wicket. Kelleway was playing so safely that, from a Scottish point of view, it was a pity to give him a second innings, especially as he and Bardsley were so careful to keep the ball on the ground.


Kelleway was in an hour and forty minutes for his 50, whereas Bardsley had got his in twenty minutes less. Dickson was changing his bowling frequently, but the batsmen were always at their ease, and were never making any mistake as to the balls for hitting.


Sievwright went on once more, but Bardsley was evidently seeing the ball very big at this time, and in successive overs he drove the left hander out of the ground on to the Water of Leith side, two very fine strokes. The first of them gave him his 1000 runs for the season. Up to that point Bardsley had made not the slightest mistake, though at 160 a confident appeal was made against him for a catch at wickets, but it was answered in favour of the batsman.


It was at 196, when the fourth wicket had put on no fewer than 172 runs, that the partnership was at last broken up by Kelleway being bowled by a good length ball which just nipped off the bails. The dissolution came as a welcome relief. Kelleway had batted with the utmost patience for just on two hours, and his best strokes were four 4's, three 3's, and seven 2's.


Soon afterwards Bardsley got his 100 amid a hearty cheer, after being at the wickets for five minutes less than two hours and a half, and immediately afterwards a new ball was requisitioned, and Ringrose had the first of it. Minnett was the new comer, and straight away he might have been run out, bur Bowie's return was slow. At the tea interval the score stood at 217 for four wickets.


On resuming, only 24 runs had been added when a beautiful length ball from Sievwright beat Minnett. That was at 231, and soon afterwards another two successes came Scotland's way. Smith, who is the hitter of the side, was run out in attempting to give Bardsley a 3 from a leg stroke. From long leg Mushet returned the ball nicely, and from the Press seats Smith seemed well out of his ground; but the batsman was evidently not pleased with the decision.


Hazlitt had a brief stay. He also had not scored when he was out for obstruction, and he was Sievwright's fourth victim.


At 292 Sievwright was tried at the pavilion end for the first time, and the innings was soon brought to a close. He had only seven more balls, and in these had three wickets for 2 runs. Bardsley was the first of the three to go. He was caught by Bowie, who ran from point to somewhere near third man would have been had there been a third man, and he took what was at the finish an easy chance.


The outgoing batsman, who was loudly cheered on retiring, had been at the wicket for four hours and twenty minutes, and never a chance had he given. It was sound, good, solid cricket that he had played, without at any time getting to the lashing out stage, not even when the two 6's were being got.


Apart from these two grand hits, Bardsley had fourteen 4's, and three 3's. After Bardsley left the innings did not survive many minutes, and it was ultimately closed after having lasted for four and a half hours.


Only five minutes were left for play following on the interval, and the bowling was in the hands of Whitty and Hazlitt. Tait got the former to the boundary for 4, but a splendid ball, which came in from the off, and just beat the bat, from the same bowler, got rid of the Forfarshire batsman just on the stroke of time. It was most unfortunate that Tait of all Scotland's players should have been the victim. It meant one of Scotland's best wickets gone for practically nothing. Day 2: The weather yesterday was of the best, and a second full day's play was seen in the match at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, between Scotland and the Australian cricketers. At the drawing of the stumps the Colonials were in a strong position, and all that Scotland could hope to do on the third day was to save the game by playing for a draw.


Whether or not they could do even that would largely depend on the action of the Colonial captain today. If he decided to declare straight away, trusting to his lead of 294 to carry him through, the Scots would probably have enough to do to bat all day; if he continued his second innings, then the longer the Australians batted the easier would be made Scotland's task.


There was an attendance yesterday of about 4000, and they saw much to interest them. Thanks to a splendid batting display by Dickson, the Scottish captain, the home team were able to remain in for the greater part of the day; and the pity was that Dickson did not get better support from his colleagues.


Barring one poor stroke which ought to have brought his career to a close, he played grand cricket, and his innings compared favourably with anything done by the Colonials either yesterday or on Monday. Realising that a heavy burden lay upon him, he never threw off a certain amount of restraint and caution, but he was never idle, and that he scored freely, and all round the wicket, may be supposed when it is said that he got his 98 in but five minutes over two hours.


His hitting, especially on the off side, was delightfully crisp and clean, as well as being well timed, and except for a short time when facing Kelleway's bowling, he played confidently and easily all the time. Numerically, the runs he got were, of course, of the utmost usefulness, Scotland would have been in a sorry plight without them, but the attractive style in which they were got considerably enhanced the value of the display.


Once again Dickson has shown that his is the possessor of the proper temperament for the "big" cricket. He invariably comes off against the Australians; in 1905 he scored 62 not out, and in 1909 he had 41 against them, and though on both these occasions he failed in the first innings, the hope may be expressed that this year he will have a double success.


There was still much to be done at the close of yesterday's game if Scotland were to come well out of it. None of the other Scottish batsmen met with much success, and, indeed, the whole ten put together only mustered 63 runs among them.


A feature of the day after Dickson's batting was the successful bowling of Minnett. The Australians, on going in a second time, found little difficulty in scoring, and everyone of the five who went to the wickets made useful contributions to the 171 got for the loss of three men, and as these runs were got in less than two hours, it can readily be imagined that not a great deal of time was put to waste in the getting of them.


Generally speaking, the fielding was good all through, and Macartney's picking up and throwing in from cover were much admired, as also was Tait's work in the same position. The smart wicket-keeping of Webster was also a subject of much comment.


Overnight the Australians had been dismissed for 295, and Scotland had lost a valuable wicket, Tait's, for 4 runs. At the start of play yesterday the bowling was in the hands of Whitty and McLaren, the latter the fast bowler of the side.


He has a peculiar action. He takes a run of some twenty yards, keeping his body low at the start of the race, and standing up as he delivers the ball. But his pace was by no means of the terrifying order, and the ball never reared in an awkward fashion, as has been the case with Cotter, the former Australian fast man. That, however, may have been due to the perfect condition of the pitch, which was playing true and easily all through the day.


Neither batsman had any difficulty with McLaren, the Scottish captain in particular playing him well, and if they were less sure with the deliveries of Whitty, the left-hander, they were never in very serious trouble with him either. Thirty went up without loss, and it looked as if the two were settling down to a long stay.


It was at that figure that McLaren, who had had 19 hit off his four overs, was taken off, and Hazlitt, who had an over the previous night, took up the attack at the park end. After two maidens, Hazlitt met with success in his third over. He got Bowie to return one to him softly, and as the chance was accepted, Scotland had two wickets down for 34. Bowie had been in thirty five minutes, and while playing a good steady game, had been content to leave most of the scoring to be done by Dickson.


The latter had a big slice of luck soon after being joined by Benskin. He put up a ball from Hazlitt in the slips when he had made 27, and should have been taken easily by Kelleway, who was standing close up to the wicket. It looked as if the fielder had been caught napping.


In any case, it was a fortunate let-off. Dickson was not scoring rapidly, but runs were always coming, and a 4 to the off, all run, off Whitty was one of the best strokes of the day. Kelleway relieved the left-hander at 68, and with his first over, a maiden he bothered the Scottish captain not a little.


Dickson could not time him at all, and at least once he was nearly bowled. The second over was played better, and Dickson got seven runs off it, a 4, a 2, and a 1, all behind the wicket. Still Kelleway was always keeping a good length, and had to be carefully watched. A 3 to leg, a hook stroke, off Hazlitt gave Dickson his 50 after an hour and five minutes batting, and his performance was greeted with a hearty round of cheering.


After the third wicket had put on 66, Benskin was easily taken in the slips, and all that his contribution to the useful partnership amounted to was 15, in the getting of which he had been in forty minutes. He had been well satisfied to keep up his end.


Lyle had a pretty 4, and then lunch was taken with the total at 108 for three wickets. On resuming, Lyle was never at ease with Whitty, and that bowler soon claimed him as a victim with the total at 119, and one later Murray put the ball up to mid-on and was easily taken. It was a ball for hitting, and on any ordinary occasion the Academical would have had a "go" at it, but Murray was out to a feeble stroke.


On being joined by Grieve, Dickson became merry, and he had the major portion of the fourteen runs that were hit off one over of Whitty's, which punishment brought on McLaren again, and from the other end the Scottish captain got a couple of 4's off successive balls from Minnett.


Dickson's brilliant display had roused up the enthusiasm of the spectators, who cheered loudly when the follow-on was saved at 146. In bringing about that security, Grieve had the good fortune to be missed in the slips when he had made 7 and in the same over, McLaren's first at the pavilion end, he was again dropped when 9. Minnett was at fault both times.


Meanwhile Dickson was fast approaching his hundred, but he and the spectators were doomed to disappointment, for when only two short of the coveted number he was bowled by a ball that came in a lot. His innings had been a great one, and all sorts of strokes had brought grist to his mill, and only one bad stroke, when Kelleway missed him at 27, had marred his display.


Sixty of his runs came from 4's of which he had fifteen. It was cruel luck on him to be so near his hundred and yet not to get it. Grieve had two or three good strokes afterwards, but as a rule he was not very sure, and none of the others did anything material to bring the total up to two hundred, Minnett being too good for them, while McLaren claimed the last man as his only victim.


With a lead of 123, the Australians began their second innings with the same pair as before, Jennings and Mayne, and two hours were left for batting.


Scotland had not the same luck at the start as on the previous day, and the opening batsmen soon settled to a steady game, Jennings doing most of the scoring, and in one over he had three 4's off Ringrose, who had opened the bowling with Sievwright. Runs came so freely that 48 had been obtained in little over half an hour. Just before that Benskin had gone on for Sievwright, who crossed over, and in his second over he beat and bowled the Australians' captain.


Macartney was recognised and cheered as he went to the wickets, and he saved himself from getting a "pair" by a late chop cleverly placed through the slips. The fielding of the Scotsmen had been exceedingly smart all through, and cheers had greeted the work of W.M. Wallace, who was fielding as substitute for Mushet, who was not able to come out, Grieve, Tait, and Lyle.


Macartney was in no great hurry to make runs, but he had one particularly good one, a neat glance to the leg boundary off Benskin, the prettiest stroke of the match. Though the batsmen were never forcing the pace, nor seeming to score rapidly, the runs were always coming along at something better than a steady rate, and over 80 were obtained in an hour.


At 91, Macartney's short innings came to a close when he was bowled by Benskin, the ball keeping low, and apparently swinging in from the off. The batsman seemed to try and cut it through the slips, but the pace beat him, and he had to go. Thus twice had the highest scorer in English cricket this season failed to give the Scottish bowlers and fielders serious trouble.


He had, however, been in long enough to give the crowd a glimpse of what he is capable of. Mayne was out to a simple catch at point. Minnett was not in many minutes before he drove Benskin straight over the ropes for 6, and he and Bardsley, without taking undue risks, had put on 69 runs, and were still together, when time was called.


The Scottish captain had rung the changes on Sievwright, Benskin, and Ringrose, and had tried the first-named two at each end, and Grieve had also had a turn at the bowling, but it was all to no avail. Bardsley, as in the first innings, seemed quite settled, and Minnett gave quite an attractive display.


The drawings on Monday, it was estimated, would amount to over £100, and yesterday they would come to something like £150.


Day 3:
The Australians had an easy victory over Scotland yesterday at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. That it was surprisingly easy it would hardly be correct to say, but it certainly was disappointing in the extreme to see the Scottish wickets falling as they did, and to have so few runs made.


The Colonials won by 296 runs, after closing their second innings with only four wickets down. Apart from attractive cricket played by Minnett and the deadly bowling of Whitty and Hazlitt, there was nothing in yesterday's play that was of a noteworthy character except, of course, the complete breakdown of the Scottish batsmen in the second innings.


That they should all have been disposed of for 52 runs was more in accordance with one's fears than one's hopes, and there was absolutely no excuse to be offered for their collapse. The bowlers named certainly trundled well, and got the ball to break a bit, and to come quickly off the pitch, but the wicket to the end was perfectly good for run getting, and it must again be said that the majority of the Scotsmen presented but a feeble resistance to the Australian attack.


The downfall of Dickson, after his brilliant effort of the previous day, was a sore blow to Scottish hopes, and his early dismissal was really the beginning of the end; not even Tait could rise to the occasion, plucky effort though he made to stay the Scottish "rot," and the whole side had been in and out in less than an hour and a quarter.


It was a doleful procession. One more chapter was thus added to the now long continued story of the inability of Scottish cricketers to stand up to the attack of first-class opponents, whether they come from Australia, South Africa, or England.


It may be hoped that the Scottish side to play at Perth today, Friday, and Saturday will give a better account of them selves. Five of the eleven beaten so badly yesterday will play in the second match, namely, Dickson, Tait, Sievwright, Murray, and Benskin. Ringrose will be unable to take his place, and Benham, of Drumpellier, who is a capital batsman as well as a good bowler, will come in his stead.


The Australians did not declare, as it was thought they might do, the first thing yesterday morning; they decided to gather a few more runs, and against the bowling of Sievwright and Benskin, these came readily enough. Minnett was the chief scorer.


He had some brilliant strokes on both sides of the wicket. Bardsley was quiet, and without further loss the two carried the score from 171 to over 200. At 203 Ringrose went on to bowl in place of Benskin, and two runs later, in his second over, Bardsley was smartly taken low don in the slips.


The wicket had put on 102 runs in less than an hour and ten minutes. Kelleway was the next man; it would have been better from a spectator's point of view had a hitter like Smith come in. especially in view of the latter's bad luck in the first innings. The slow scoring man was, however, preferred, and while he was in Minnett did practically all the run-getting until the closure was applied, play having been in progress for some forty minutes.


Minnett's innings had been a faultless one and always interesting. There never was any suggestion with him of forcing matters, but he scored very consistently, and as freely on the off side as on the on. He was at the wicket for an hour and twenty five minutes, and his principal scoring hits were a 6 and nine 4's. The Colonials were 348 ahead.


The Scotsmen were sent in for less than half an hour's batting before lunch. The same pair as before opened for Scotland, but Bowie, unfortunately, had a short life. Nor was it a merry one. Only 7 had been scored when Whitty had him beaten with a good length ball, and another greater disaster befell Scotland with only three more runs added, Dickson then being all at sea with a ball from Minnett, who had opened the attack at the pavilion end.


The Scottish captain had been very uncomfortable with the bowler, who ultimately claimed him as a victim. Thus with two men out before lunch for 10, Scotland had made a wretched start, and worse was to follow after the resumption.


At 15 Benskin jumped out to drive Whitty, missed the ball, and was stumped as smartly as ever a man was. Lyle opened promisingly enough, and had a 4 at each end, but he got little further before Whitty beat him hollow with an off break, and Murray went at the same total, 26, and as he failed to score, he earned the distinction of having got a "a pair of spectacles."


He only got three balls. The first was played quietly to the off, the second hit him on the leg, and he survived an appeal for lbw, and the third was his last. Thus half the side were out, and the total had not reached 30.


Tait meantime was very quiet. He and Grieve managed to gather in 15 for the sixth wicket, but when that had been achieved, and the total was at 41, the Border man played a ball from Hazlitt, who had relieved Minnett at 36, softly into the hands of Mayne at point, and the same bowler got other two wickets in quick time, those of Mushet and Gibson. Mushet was able to bat, but he had not fielded during the early part of the day.


Tait was ninth out, after appearing certain to carry his bat through the innings, and his 18 took him seventy minutes to get. There was no doubt he got in front of his wicket to the left-hander. During his stay he had had singularly little of the bowling, but his patient and plucky batting was not so free and easy as it usually is. Probably the circumstances were too depressing even for Tait.


The last pair had some leniency shown them, at least it looked as if the one might have been caught and the other run out had the fieldsmen been very keen on it. The Colonials, however, were merciful as they were strong, but they took care not to indulge their opponents before they themselves were absolutely sure of a win. Both Hazlitt and Whitty came out with wonderful bowling figures.


The weather yesterday was dull, and threatened at times to break down and come to the rescue of Scotland, but luckily the rain held off. There would be an attendance of nearly a thousand looking on at the play, and the early close of the match with its tame finish was unfortunate for them, especially those who came down after the lunch interval, subsequent to which the game only lasted fifty minutes.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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