Scotland v Australian IF 2 & 3 July 1919
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
Scorecard:Scotland v Australian Imperial Forces
Event:Australian Imperial Forces in British Isles 1919

DateLine: 2nd February 2013




Day 1:
Scotland did well yesterday against the Australian cricketers at Raeburn Place Edinburgh. The side chosen by the Scottish Union finished up in quite a favourable position, and did something to redeem the good name of Scottish cricket after the failure of the Western District eleven in the first match of the Australians' tour in Scotland.


There is, of course, plenty of time yet for the Australians to win the game. But in any case, whatever happens in the second day's play to day, the Scottish representatives have already made a very creditable display and have left the Colonials with something to do to secure a victory.


There was no little satisfaction in getting such a total as 266, and it was also gratifying that three of the eleven should have exceeded 40, and that six in all should have reached double figures. The cricket, it is true, was for the most part slow and unenterprising, but the majority of the 4000 spectators present would be quite content with the rate of run getting.


They would be pleased, too, with the success of the two Edinburgh men, Sorrie and Hole, and with the splendid lead that Kerr, the Scottish captain, gave his team. But the satisfaction of the crowd did not end with the Scottish batting, for in the last hour they saw three good Australian wickets fall at a comparatively small cost, two of them to extraordinary fine catches.


The day, taking it as a whole, was one of the best a team representative of Scotland has had for many years, and with the match in such an interesting state there should be another good crowd at Raeburn Place today, with the prospect of a full day's cricket. The weather was fine, if somewhat dull, and late in the afternoon the light was not particularly good.


There was a change on the Australian side that played at Glasgow, C.B. Willis coming in for C.T. Docker, and A.E. Sellars dropped out of the Scottish eleven owing to a strained leg.


John Kerr had the good fortune to win the toss, and on such a fine run-getting wicket as Keene has prepared, it followed that Scotland went in first. It was half an hour after the arranged starting hour when Kerr and Sorrie went to the wicket to face the bowling of Gregory and Collins.


A good start was made. Both men were careful, and for a time played the fast bowler gingerly. But Kerr was always getting runs, and he played a number of pretty strokes, particularly on the on side. Collins only bowled two overs, when he went off and put on O'Connor, from whose first over 9 runs were obtained.


Sorrie continued to be a bit jumpy with the fast ones, and when he had scored 12 he had the narrowest of escapes from being stumped. It was a smart bit of work on the part of the wicket-keeper, but Sorrie who had gone out of his ground, got his bat in with marvellous quickness, and the decision was given in his favour.


Kerr did practically all the scoring, and Sorrie had only a dozen when the first 50 was put on the scoring board. The getting of these runs had only occupied forty minutes, not bad going for a Scottish eleven on a big occasion. It looked as if the two would keep up their ends to the lunch interval, but with the total at 64, the fast bowler got through the fine defence that the Scottish captain had offered.


Kerr had played sound cricket during the hour that he was at the wicket, and had never given anything like a chance. He had only two singles in his total, which contained five 4's.


Angus gave no trouble, his third ball was his last. He touched one of the fast ones, and was snapped by the wicket-keeper. The Perthshire man, Gardiner, also failed. He did not bother about playing himself in, like Kerr and Sorrie, but, as is his wont in club cricket, he wanted a smack straight away, and after a single, the first attempt at a big hit that he made, a lusty drive over the bowler's head found the ball going to the hands of Willis.


Three wickets were then down for 65, and it seemed as if the old familiar story of a breakdown in Scottish batting would have to be recorded anew. Sorrie, however, while not playing with anything like his accustomed freedom, was meeting the bowling with every confidence, and numerous changes in the attack were made. Fergusson in a brief stay, had some pretty strokes, but the stand of the day was made when Hole joined Sorrie.


Both played with the greatest care, and rarely were risks taken. They were never in a hurry about scoring, but gradually the total crept up. Play had lasted an hour and fifty minutes when the 100 was reached. Just then Sorrie drove Collins finely for 4, and in the same over turned that bowler nicely to leg for a 3.


The wicket had put on four short of the 100, when it was broken up by Sorrie returning one to the bowler. It was a great partnership, from the Scottish team's point of view. Sorrie's innings had been characterised by great patience. He had given no chance, and had played very few bad strokes, apart from a dangerous one through slips when he had 20. He had four 4's and six 3's. His runs were chiefly obtained from drives to the off and behind the bowler.


Groves were (sic) too impatient to get runs in a hurry, and Parker, out to a yorker from the fast bowler, met with no success. Dunlop's contribution of 24 was a useful one, briskly put together, and he helped Hole to put on 34 for the eighth wicket. McDonald also did well, having two 4's and a 2 in his 14.


Except that it was slower than usual, Hole's was a more characteristic innings than that of Sorrie, and he got not a few of his runs by his favourite glances and hooks to leg, and most of the others by drives along the ground to the off. It was, however, no more like Hole in club cricket to be in for two hours and a quarter for 67 than it was for Sorrie to take half an hour longer for 79.


Hole had one 4 and seven 3's. A considerable number of his strokes were saved close to the boundary. He was last out, taken at third man from a hard stroke that hardly deserved such a fate. The Scottish innings lasted a little over four hours.


The Scotsman continued to fare well when they took the field. Less than an hour remained for play, and in that time the Australians lost three wickets for 71. A great one-handed catch by Parker, fielding at short-leg, got rid of Taylor very cheaply. That was with the total at 33, and with only three more scored a break ball by Sievwright beat Trennery, one of the Pollok century makers.


Each of the bowlers, Fergusson and Sievwright, had taken a wicket with the first ball of his fourth over. Collins and Pellew seemed to have settled for a stand, when another brilliant effort on the part of Parker disposed of the latter. Curiously enough, he was in the same position, short-leg, but at the other end, and this time he took the catch high up with both hands. Then Collins and Bull played out time. Groves had two or three overs at the finish at Fergusson's end.


Day 2:
After the gratifying show made by the Scottish Eleven against the Australians on Wednesday, there was a disappointing sequel on the second and final day of the match at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh.


The Scotsmen managed, it is true, to secure a draw in the end, but the came desperately near being defeated. There was, as so often happened in representative games in this country, a Scottish batting collapse, and it was only the skill, pluck, and determination of the captain of the side that enabled Scotland to escape by a very narrow margin.


The good form with the bat on the first day was far from being maintained by the Scottish players, and it was only by a scramble, and a not very glorious one, except as regards the Greenock player, that they got the draw.


Still, it was the Scottish innings, and the doubt as to whether the game would be saved, that provided the most interesting part of the day's proceedings. It was only then that there was any real contest going on. What the Australians were striving for during their five hours' stay at the wicket for 360 runs was difficult to fathom, and if they came near success, that was despite the tactics they adopted and because of the poor defence offered by their opponents.


The Scottish bowling, generally speaking, was no doubt good, and the state of the pitch, owing to some overnight rain, was doubtless helping the bowlers to some extent, but that did not excuse the apparently purposeless play of the Colonials, even after they had put themselves in an absolutely safe position. During the greater part of the day their method of procedure did not suggest that they were out to win.


Except for a brief period of excitement towards the close, when the Scots were batting a second time, "draw" was written large practically all day over the match. There was, of course, a great deal of good and sound batting on the Australian side, but there can be too much of that sort of thing when it seems to be leading to nowhere except an indefinite end, and interest was lost accordingly. Half an hour of resolute hitting at any time would, as matters turned out, have given the visitors a handsome victory.


The weather yesterday was cold and bleak, and at no time was the light good, especially late in the day. The attendance would not fall short of that of the first day, 4000 or so.


From a Scottish point of view the start of play was encouraging. Groves opened the bowling, and with the last ball of his first over, and without any addition to the total, he got Bull, one of the Poloc century makers, caught in the slips. The one-hand catch by Fergusson was a very fine one. Thus three of the four wickets that had fallen were the result of exceptionally good work in the field.


Then came a long stand by Collins and Murray, and both treated the bowling with the utmost respect. It was good, notably that of Sievwright and Groves, who seemed to be getting some benefit from the effects of the overnight rain and were making the ball turn. Sievwright in particular required a lot of playing.


The pair took no risks whatever, they played an absolutely safe game, and it took them one hundred minutes to put together 81, which was the number of runs the partnership realised.


The defence of Collins seemed absolutely invincible, and he got runs all round the wicket when a loose one came along. But it was only the palpably loose ones that he would venture to hit. He was, indeed, far too cautious to be interesting far less entertaining.


Collins got his hundred in three hours and fifteen minutes out of a total of 225. After reaching the 100 he roused himself just a little, to the extent that his next 50 was obtained in forty minutes, and soon his long innings came to a close, a good one-handed catch by Groves sending him to the pavilion for a painstaking and unenterprising innings extending in all to four hours and a quarter. Collins collected nineteen 4's and eight 3's.


Murray, however, was the first of the two to go, easily taken by Sievwright off his own bowling, and his total of 32 took him an hour and forty minutes to make. He showed one of his fine batting hitting powers as at Shawholm. Willis livened up matters a bit, and had six 4's and three 3's in his hour's stay.


The innings, which lasted five hours and ten minutes, was concluded by Gregory being smartly run out. He was rushed by his partner to attempt a 3 for a snick through the slips to near the boundary, and the ball was smartly returned to the wicketkeeper, and thence to the bowler, Sievwright, who had the wicket broken just before the batsman reached the crease.


Ninety four behind on the first innings, the Scotsmen were left with an hour and thirty five minutes to play. On the first innings showing it seemed safe to suppose that a draw was assured. It was soon seen, however, that there was a serious danger of a Scottish defeat.


Sorrie, a noteworthy success in the first innings, was bowled at 2; Angus after a few nice hits, was splendidly taken in the slips at 32, the fieldsman taking the ball as he fell to the ground; Gardiner had a single and a fine pull to the boundary before he put one up to the bowler with the total at 37; and then 10 runs later Fergusson, Hole, and Groves all went at the same figure.


Six were thus out for 47, and there still remained about three-quarters of an hour to play.


Kerr, who had gone in first, was the hope of the side, and he was standing up to the attack of Gregory, Stirling, and Collins, in great style. Figuratively speaking, he had his back to the wall. The first named, encouraged by the success he was meeting with, bowled his fastest, and frequently a ball would go whizzing past Kerr's head in alarming fashion, but the little fellow, to all appearance at least, was not perturbed in the least.


He knew the responsibility that lay on his shoulders, and as he carried his bat through the innings it did not prove too severe for him. Nor did he content himself with stone-walling, though he ran no risks, and towards the end judiciously endeavoured to take as much of the bowling. He had four boundaries in his forty.


Parker stayed a long time with him, about twenty five minutes, but with Dunlop caught at the wicket from the first ball he received there was still danger, for only two wickets were standing, and there yet remained ten minutes to go.


McDonald faced up with commendable grit, and the two succeeded in taking Scotland out of a very nasty corner, and into a place of safety. The Australians were very keen on winning at the end, much more so when they were bowling and fielding than when they were batting.


When stumps and the match were drawn; Scotland was still 15 runs behind the Australian total with only two wickets in hand.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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