Scotland v Australia 14 & 15 July 1921
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
Scorecard:Scotland v Australians
Event:Australia in British Isles 1921

DateLine: 2nd February 2013




Day 1:
For the third match in succession in Scotland the Australian cricketers had the good luck to win the toss, and for the third time they put on a mammoth total of runs. At Partick they got 540, at Perth 422, and at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, yesterday against Scotland their last man was disposed just on time for the very useful aggregate of 514.


They occupied the wicket for some four hours and forty minutes, and if play was rather tame and lacking in variety before lunch, when no wicket fell, and the batsmen were as careful and serious over their batting as if they were engaged in a Test "rubber," there were items of interest enough after the interval when in two hours and fifty minutes all ten Australians were disposed of.


A liveliness there was later in the day that was absent when H.L. Collins and E. R. Mayne were laying the foundation of the big score, and making it certain that the representatives of Scotland were to be up against the collar, as the saying is, when their time came for batting.


The people of Edinburgh, it was pleasing to note, were not behind those of Glasgow and Perth in showing their interest in and appreciation of the cricketers from overseas who have been doing such wonderful things on the other side of the border.


The pavilion and the members' enclosure were well occupied, and so were the special stands that had been erected in front of the pavilion and on the west side of the field. A rough estimate was that a sum of £700 or £800 would be taken, which, combined with the £1400 revenue from the Perth game, ensures a very tidy little sum for the Scottish Union, with one day to go. And an interesting day it promises to be.


The Scots will no doubt have their work before them to save a defeat, and should it be a defeat very probably it will be a defeat by an innings. All they can hope for is a draw.


The Scottish bowling was made to appear very ordinary, and it was a curious fact that of the 87 overs bowled only one was a maiden. All through the Australians were on top of the bowling, and no fewer than eight men had a share in the attack.


J. Kerr, the captain, had a notable success with the ball late in the day. His innocent looking drops were well slammed about to begin with, 11 runs being hit from his first over, 12 from his second, and 9 from his third; then from his next eight balls he captured three wickets for 5 runs.


By that time, however, the Australians probably felt that they had had almost a surfeit of runs, and were not sorry to get out and end the innings before the close of play. The Scottish captain's success, however, was greatly to the liking of the crowd, and probably no one was more surprised than himself at his good fortune, for it is generally as a last resort that he puts himself on to bowl.


But probably he weighed up the situation thus, that if the batsmen were in a hitting mood he was as likely as anyone to get rid of them. If so, he judged correctly. On the whole the bowling was not good.


The fielding, as at Perth, was mixed, some of it was good, very good, and some not so good. Two or three catches were missed, but not many were given, and even of bad strokes that did not go to fielders there were but few.


The "life" that Alexander (who took the place of J.A. Fergusson, Perthshire, whose injured leg prevented him from playing) gave T.J. Andrews was the most serious in its results, for it enabled that batsman to add some 70 odd runs to his total. Much fine work was done, however, in the field and none did better as scouts than Alexander and Campbell, while A.D. Mitchell and R.E. Batson had each a very fine catch.


Ideal weather favoured the match, and the Australians made full use of the chance they had of taking the first of the wicket, which was very evidently to the liking of Collins and Mayne, who soon got the measure of the attack, and, without taking any risks, obtained runs pretty much as they pleased.


It was steady going batting at both ends with Collins going faster. Mayne was very careful to begin with, and opened his account with nine singles. Soon after he had three 4's in succession, and gradually he kept up on his partner. Runs came with almost monotonous ease and steadiness, the batsmen having complete mastery and the Scottish captain was often at his wits' end to know what to do with his bowling.


Up to lunch he gave seven men a turn, but there was an obvious want of "devil" in their deliveries, and at no time were the batsmen in difficulties. R.W. Sievwright did most of the trundling, he was tried at both ends, but the Raeburn Place wicket did not seem to suit him so well as that at Perth. All the same, it was the Arbroath man, with his long left-handers, who, in the early stages at all events, was least expensive of the Scottish bowlers.


The proceedings up to the lunch interval had been bleak from a Scottish point of view, but the fact that 146, Collins had 76 and Mayne 63, had been scored in rather less than an hour and a half was a clear indication that the batsmen had not been idle.


They had, however, been a lack of enthusiasm in the play, as the batsmen continued the even tenure of their way. Up to lunch interval not a maiden had been bowled.


Matters became more interesting on the game being resumed. Watt was the first bowler, and that the batsmen had more go in them than before was evident from the fact that 10 runs were hit off the first over, 9 of them being got by Mayne.


That contribution took Mayne past Collins for the first time. It was not until the 37th over of the match had been bowled that a maiden was recorded. It was sent down by Sievwright, and was his ninth over of the day. Just about that point Collins got his hundred, and an hour and fifty minutes had been occupied in the process.


Not a chance, nor anything like a chance, had been given, but no sooner had he passed the three figure stage than he began to get a trifle indifferent, if not careless. He did not watch the ball so closely as he had been doing before. He gave a chance to Mitchell immediately after reaching his hundred, but it was a difficult one, and the fieldsman did his best to get to the ball.


A beautiful 6 by Collins, off Hole, brought out the 200 after about two hours play. Before his 100 Collins never looked like getting out; after there was always the prospect that he would go, and go he did, a slow one from Sievwright beating him when he was having a "go." His hits included a 6 and seventeen 4's.


The total was 205 when the first wicket fell. Mayne seemed good to follow the example of Collins in reaching his hundred, but the partnership having been broken Mayne soon joined his colleague in the pavilion with only six more runs added. The retiring batsman had but one 6 and nine 4's.


With C.E. Pellew in, the game became lively. He soon had three 6's off Sievwright's bowling, all of them drives that were almost straight over the bowler's head. In one over from the slow bowler he scored 17 runs, 4 1 6 6. He had a brief but merry career, and got his runs, 40, in twenty minutes.


A slap-dash innings it was, and came as a relief after the care and caution of the opening pair. He was attempting another big hit when the ball went off the edge of his bat, and Watt, moving from point in the direction of the slips, brought off a good catch, though somewhat interfered with by Kerr, who was running for the ball in the opposite direction. Pellew had more 6's than singles. He had three 6's, two 4's, a 3, three 2's, and two singles.


Taylor was out to a brilliant catch just on the boundary line, Mitchell having to run along the line and take the ball sideways. Armstrong made a bad stroke early in his innings, and Hole made a bold effort to take the ball, but could not get his hand to it.


The Australian captain then proceeded to score quickly and safely, most of his runs being obtained in characteristic style, all along the ground. Andrews had been quietly but steadily pegging along, and making most of his runs on the off side. He reached his 50 in one hundred minutes., and just afterwards should have been taken in the outfield from a drive by Alexander.


The ball came to hand, but the Aberdeenshire man failed to hold it. Armstrong got his runs in decided contrast to Andrews, and his 50 was put up after he had been at the crease for only forty five minutes.


It raised a laugh to see the mighty Armstrong stealing a short one to save time. Sievwright kicked the ball at the wicket, but missed, and as it lay about the centre of the pitch Armstrong, who evidently was in frisky mood, made an attempt to get a second from the stroke which was not worth one. The wicketkeeper, however, ran for the ball, and turning round quickly, threw down the wicket.


The incident was greatly enjoyed, and the Australian captain joined in the fun, he did not stop his run until he got to the boundary line on his way to retirement. He had eleven 4's, and all the rest were singles.


Andrews had a 6 off Hole, and soon afterwards got his 100, his first of the tour, and the twenty fifth obtained among the Australians, ten of whom have divided the centuries among them. He had a 6 and eighteen 4's, and his favourite stroke was the off drive.


The Australian tail did not give much trouble, and Oldfield, who was missed by Stevenson close to the boundary, was finely taken on the ropes at the opposite side of the field. Hendry was out through a combination of stumper and bowler.


So close on time did the innings close that there was no opportunity left for the Scotsmen to bat, so that they will have the advantage of starting this morning fresh, instead of going in after a long day in the field. Is Edinburgh to be behind Glasgow and Perth in getting a draw?


Day 2:
Notable batting was done by the Scottish eleven against the Australians at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, yesterday, when, in response to the visitors' great total of 514, the home men put on 294 runs for the loss of eight wickets, and got a very creditable draw.


The display was one of the best ever given by a Scottish side in an important match. Several batsmen did well, two in particular, but the feat of John Kerr, the Scottish captain, put everything else that was done completely in the shade. It was a magnificent performance, and it is not too much to say that it stamped Kerr as one of the great batsmen of the day.


Many good things has he done in representative cricket, but on this occasion he quite excelled himself. His total was the highest scored against the Australians in the tour, and the third century recorded against them, the other two being H. Ashton's 107 for Cambridge University and Mead's 129 for Hampshire. Gregory did not bowl when Ashton or Mead were making big scores.


It was a brilliant all-round exhibition that Kerr gave, with nearly all the strokes of the game in it, but most of his runs were made on the on side by cleverly turning the ball round to leg and big hefty pulls off A.A. Mailey. A lot of runs were also got by means of well timed cuts.


Rarely did Kerr hit out, and when he did drive he took great care to keep the ball down. Only when in the nineties did he show any sign of anxiety. The fast deliveries of J.M. Gregory clearly troubled him then, but apart from that, he batted with characteristic confidence, and played the fasts of Gregory, the slows of W.W. Armstrong, and the googlies of Mailey with just as much ease and assurance as if he were indulging in an ordinary Saturday afternoon club game.


No doubt he exercised greater care and restraint than he would have done against a Scottish opposition, but there was no purpose to be gained in attempting to force matters. A draw was all that Scotland could hope to secure, and he could not afford to take risks. For over four hours he defied all the bowling that could be put up against him, and no fewer than nine bowlers were tried during the afternoon, another record for the tour.


His innings was marred by but one real "life," and that was of stumping when he had made 17, a very costly mistake. Then again at 29 he put a ball dangerously near E.L. Hendry in the slips, but it was doubtful whether or not it was an actual chance.


In a lesser degree G.W.A. Alexander was also splendidly successful, and with Kerr out of the way, the fine innings of the old Glenalmond boy would have aroused a lot of enthusiasm. It was his debut in big cricket, and both in the field and with the bat he was an outstanding success. He proved himself to be an effective and polished batsman, and, like Kerr, one with the proper temperament for a big occasion.


It is interesting to note that only Hampshire have made a bigger aggregate than that of Scotland at Edinburgh against the present tourists, who did not greatly impress as bowlers or fielders. Certainly they did not live up to the reputation they brought with them. Perhaps the occasion was not big enough for them, and, of course, it has to be noted that Armstrong bowled very little and that Gregory only sent down thirteen overs.


The latter was early taken off, after securing two wickets for few runs, but when he went on a second time, hard though he tried, he could only claim one more victim, and he was bowling very fast and was making the ball rise at times very nastily. Mailey had not a pleasant experience. He did not give nearly so much trouble as at Partick or Perth, and did not get a wicket, while over 100 runs were hit off his bowling.


Yesterday certainly was not a good one of Mailey's days. A lot of the fielding, too, was decidedly slack, but C.E. Pellew and J.M. Taylor were notable exceptions.


There was another large attendance. On Thursday there was a crowd of about 8500, and that of yesterday was just about the same, but with so many boys among the spectators on the second day, the receipts would fall short by £100 or so of the £800 of the opening day.


Financially the Edinburgh match was a great success, and if the spectators must have been disappointed with the form shown by the Australians, they did not fail to manifest their appreciation of the excellent work done by the home players. Over the three games in Scotland, and all of them ended in draws, well over £4800 would be taken, a thing unprecedented in Scottish cricket.


The Australians opened with Gregory and Armstrong in charge of the bowling, so that evidently at the start, at all events, they meant serious business. Seven came from Gregory's first over. Then Armstrong bowled a maiden, and Gregory followed with another, but, unfortunately for Scotland, it was a wicket maiden, for with the sixth ball R.E. Batson had a snick, and the wicket-keeper standing far back, took the catch nicely with one hand.


G.G. Campbell opened his account with a 4 through the slips off Gregory, but he was not so easy in his manner as at Perth, and immediately after he had reached double figures, with the total at 26, he was out in a similar manner to his old club colleague. With D.C. Stevenson in play was quiet, and a double change in the bowling was made. Mailey relieving Armstrong at 27, and Hendry going on for Gregory two runs later. The new bowler began with four maidens.


Off Mailey's bowling Kerr had a lucky escape. He jumped out yards to play the slow bowler and missed, but the wicket-keeper, on his eagerness to break the wicket, did so with his hand before he had taken possession of the ball.


Both Kerr and Stevenson played themselves in with marked caution. Just before the lunch interval Kerr had a string of fourteen singles, and Stevenson began with nine.


On resuming, Mailey and J. Ryder had the attack in their hands, and in the latter's first over Kerr gave a possible chance to Hendry in the slips. The fieldsman tried hard to get his right hand to the ball, but was late. Then an exceedingly useful partnership came to a close by Stevenson being bowled. The outgoing batsman had played sound and careful cricket for sixty five minutes, and had given no chance.


D.A. Mackay had but a brief stay, and with his dismissal four wickets were down for 98 runs. On being joined by G.W.A. Alexander, Kerr soon reached his 50 out of 106, and he had been at the wicket at that stage just under two hours.


For a considerable time Armstrong had been fielding at silly mid-on to Kerr, but the one captain was too cute for the other. And though still turning the ball a lot to leg, Kerr kept it so well out of the reach of the fieldsman that the latter gradually fell back, and Mailey was put in position at short square leg.


Alexander opened in great style with a trio of 4's all cuts, the first one square and the other two forward. He shaped exceedingly well; his action was always free and easy, and there was not the slightest trace of nerves about his batting. After six singles and a 2, he had another fine forward cut to the boundary off Ryder.


H.L. Collins took the ball from the last named at 150, and in his first off Alexander pulled him round for a 4, and in attempting to hit out at the next ball from the left-hander, with his total at 29, he skied the ball, and should have been taken by Taylor fielding in the gully. But the Australian dropped the catch.


Twelve were hit from an over of Collins's and of these Alexander claimed all but 1, including two delightful drives for 4 to the off. Alexander went on steadily showing fine form, but with his score at 49 he gave a possible chance to Pellew standing at square leg.


It would have been a fine catch had it been taken, as the fieldsman, always keen and energetic, had to make the attempt very awkwardly. That brought Alexander's 50, which he had obtained after a stay of 70 minutes.


On resuming after tea, Mailey and Gregory bowled, and having got to 90 with a single, Kerr had a bad time in the" nervous 90's." He survived an appeal for leg before wicket by Gregory, and put up the next ball awkwardly through the slips, though well clear of any fielder.


With Gregory bowling, the batsmen were not nearly so comfortable as they had been prior to the tea adjournment, and Kerr was finding it particularly hard to get the ball away. A 4 off Mailey from a pull helped him materially on his way to his century, and then he got the benefit of the doubt in an appeal for leg before wicket.


Another pull to the boundary off Mailey gave Kerr the coveted hundred amid a scene of great enthusiasm. He scored freely afterwards, and looked certain to play out time, and to carry his bat through the innings, but when 147, and with the aggregate at 277, another appeal was made for obstruction, and this time the umpire's hand went up.


The stand of the innings was that between Kerr and Alexander, which put on 109 runs. G.L.D. Hole stayed a considerable time, and while he and Kerr were associated 70 runs were added, but he was never at ease with Gregory's bowling, and narrowly escaped being badly hit on the face.


After Kerr's dismissal there was nothing noteworthy done, and stumps were drawn with Scotland still 220 behind with two wickets in hand, and still requiring 121 runs to save the follow on. But at no time during the afternoon was there any serious danger of the game being lost or won.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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