Scotland v Australia 21 & 22 July 1926
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
Scorecard:Scotland v Australians
Event:Australia in British Isles 1926

DateLine: 2nd February 2013




Day 1:
Australia' s cricketers began yesterday the last of their engagements in Scotland, at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, and having beaten the Western and Eastern Elevens pitted against them at Partick and Perth, went well on their way to complete a succession of victories.


The Scottish team were disposed of for 95 and there was hardly a redeeming feature about their batting, though C. Groves and D.S. Weir showed quite good form and a certain degree of assurance, and looked like making a lot more runs than they got, and J. Kerr offered stubborn defence to stay at the wicket for an hour and twenty five minutes for 18.


The slow bowling of C.V. Grimmett and A.A. Mailey troubled the batsmen all the time, and few of them were ever comfortable or confident. Both bowlers did some "googling," and if Grimmett were the one who met with most success, it may be said that Mailey bowled equally well and sent up fewer loose deliveries.


The Scots would should, in all probability, have done far better against bowlers of more orthodox methods. With such jugglers at each end they did not have much opportunity of scoring runs, and were never allowed to settle. The fact that Kerr was in so long for so few runs may be taken as good evidence that the bowling was always difficult.


The wicket was helping the bowlers in the early part of the game, and the showers that fell later, along with the drying wind, probably tended to make matters more easy later for the batsmen.


There was a lot of rain during the previous night and the morning, but it cleared off in good time to make it certain that play would proceed at the arranged hour, 12 o'clock. The wicket at the ends had been protected, and the centre part, which had not been covered, was in a fairly firm state.


When the Australians went in to bat, none of the Scottish bowlers could get the ball to do much turning, and the batsmen played all the six men tried for Scotland in a fashion which never suggested any likelihood of them getting out.


Only one wicket was captured during the two hours and ten minutes that the Australians batted, and that no fewer than 208 runs were got showed that W. Bardsley, W.M. Woodfull, and J.M. Gregory had not been idle. Their cricket was of the best, and so complete a command had they over the bowling that never a chance was given and hardly ever a faulty stroke made.


Only in fielding could the Scots be said to have acquitted themselves with distinction. They did good work in that department, and so did the Australians, and only one possible chance was given, namely by S. Everett in the deep field, the fast bowler misjudging the flight of the lofty ball from G.L.D. Hole, and coming in much too far, to see it go safely over his head. A feature of the Australian fielding was the splendid work done by W.A. Oldfield behind the wicket.


Financially the opening day of the match was a great success. There would be some 9000 people present during the day, which must be a record for any cricket ground in Edinburgh. Many schoolboys were amongst the crowd. Three stands had been erected, with accommodation for over 1000, and all were full to overflowing.


On the Scots going in to bat on winning the toss, I.T. Parker did not repeat his meritorious performance against Ireland. He got a 2 and a single off the first over, but with the fourth ball of Grimmett's opening over from the other end he was beaten by the break and bowled.


That was Grimmett's first wicket in Scotland, he did not play in the two previous matches, and he got it at the expense of one run. The Heriot's man, Groves, started in confident fashion, and even when simply playing the ball back hit it firmly and with decision. He looked as if he might stay a while, and when Grimmett sent him up a "full tosser," he promptly dispatched it to the boundary. The same over, however, saw his dismissal.


Having a go at the slow bowler, he missed the ball and was promptly stumped by Oldfield, who was "keeping" for the first time in Scotland during the present tour. Groves had batted nicely for his 11 out of the 16 got for two wickets. Meantime Kerr had been very quiet, and had garnered but 2 runs with half an hour gone. Weir drove Grimmett boldly to the boundary to open his account, and after singles and a couple of 2's, he pulled the slow bowler finely for another 4.


The first change in the bowling was made at 34, when J.H. Ponsford, who is not a recognised bowler, took the place of Everett. Even against him Kerr was very subdued. For nearly fifty minutes had he been at the crease before he managed to hit a 4, and then he could hardly help himself, for Ponsford gave him a nice full one on the leg side, and Kerr gave the ball what it deserved.


Prior to that the Greenock man had had but five runs, three singles and a 2. He is not ordinarily a fast scorer, but that was far from being Kerr at his best. When play had been in progress for an hour the total was just under 50, and of these Kerr had a dozen.


Weir's promising display was brought to a close by one of the poorest balls that had been delivered. It had the saving grace of being straight, but it was short pitched, and should have yielded an easy 4. But the Edinburgh Academical hit so viciously at the ball that he missed, and was bowled. At the lunch interval the score was 55 for three wickets.


Just after resuming, a misunderstanding between the batsmen, Kerr and I.G. Collins, almost resulted in the loss of a wicket. Kerr declined the call of Collins, but the Ayr man came on. Bardsley, at point, threw the ball to the end where both men were together, and the situation was saved. But it did not matter much, for both were soon out, and A.D. Innes was also soon disposed of, Kerr going at 61 and Collins and Innes both at 62.


That was an unfortunate turn in the game, Kerr for the first time lost his patience, and had a "go," but Grimmett's break, as in the case of Groves beat him, and Oldfield did the rest. It was a brilliant bit of stumping, and Kerr was well out of his ground. Collins was completely beaten by a ball that came in from the off; Innes was snapped at the wicket, as was C.S. Paterson, who just touched a ball on the leg side, and was finely caught. J.M. Fleming stopped one ball and was out to the next, and the seventh and eighth wickets had fallen at the same total, 71.


The Scottish captain, G.L.D. Hole, was cautiousness personified in an effort to stop the rot, five wickets had fallen for 10 runs, and was in for nearly twenty five minutes before scoring, but it should be explained that he got little of the bowling during that spell, and, as he had lost three partners, a fair proportion of his time was occupied in men walking to and from the pavilion.


A fifth victim of the innings was claimed by Oldfield when he stumped W. Anderson at 88. Hole was last man out 8 runs later. Grimmett bowled unchanged, and did so well that he had seven wickets for 42 runs. He got the wickets, but he was the bowler who was most freely hit.


Groves and Anderson were the bowlers the Scottish captain chose to open the attack, and the first pair of Australian batsmen soon settled down to give a sound display. Both men, the captain, a left-hander, who did not bat either at Partick or Perth, and W.M. Woodfull, right-hand, who was playing for the first time in Scotland, gave a fine exhibition of correct cricket, and, without seeming to be in any hurry, got runs quickly.


Fifty came along in forty five minutes, and, with the rate of scoring accelerating as the game went on, the Scottish total was passed without a separation, and up to that time three bowling changes had been made, C.S. Paterson going on at 49, Weir at 53, and R.W. Sievwright at 73. But all the bowling came alike to the pair. Both were very safe, particularly Woodfull, who never lifted a ball off the ground.


A lot of runs were made between point and the slips, but comparatively few by driving and pulling. It was good cricket to see, if at times a little monotonous because of its correctness and orthodoxy. The second 50 took thirty five minutes to compile, and each man reached the half hundred in practically the same time, Woodfull being the first to reach that stage.


Anderson had a second turn with the ball at 124, and 19 runs later he got through the defence of Bardsley, which had previously appeared to be impregnable. The total was then 143, and Bardsley had 71 of them, and the innings up to that point had been in progress an hour and twenty minutes. Not a flaw could be found in the captain's display, and included in his hits were seven 4's. So close a race had the two batsmen run that at the time of the break of the partnership Woodfull had made 65 runs.


During the remaining time for play, thirty five minutes, Woodfull went on to 93, and was still not out at the close of play. His new partner had played in lively fashion for his 37. It was during that time, and with the score at 182, that Hole went on to bowl for the first time, and his first over produced 11 runs, a 2, a single, a 6, and a 2. The 6 was a drive by Gregory, who also had three 4's in the last over of the day, which was bowled by Weir.


Play today is due to begin at eleven o'clock.


Day 2:
So great a spate of run-getting was there in the Australian-Scotland match at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, that the Australians made their highest score of the present tour, 563. Yet they had to be content with a draw, and perhaps with that they were satisfied.


They did not declare their innings closed on resuming yesterday forenoon, when they were 114 runs ahead of Scotland's total of 94, but went on batting, and indeed they continued at the wicket until close upon half past three in the afternoon, when the tenth wicket fell. Yesterday they batted for nearly three and a half hours, and so freely that they batted 355 runs to their overnight total of 208 for the loss of W. Bardsley's wicket.


Perhaps they wanted to give all their men some batting practice in view of tomorrow's Test game at Manchester, or they might have thought two hours and a half sufficient time to get Scotland out a second time. In any case, their delay deprived them of a chance of victory, for a full hour was lost at the close of the day on account of rain.


That the Australians were not desperately keen on winning was further demonstrated by the fact that J.M. Taylor was called upon as their opening bowler in Scotland's second innings. It was the first turn with the ball he had had during the course of the present tour.


A.A. Mailey and C.V. Grimmett, who had caused so much dismay to the Scotsmen the previous day, were utilised later, but the latter had only two overs, and Mailey suffered a good deal of punishment from C. Groves, the Heriot's man, whose fine innings was really the one bright thing on the Scottish side from a batting point of view.


It was an innings of real worth, and he got his runs almost as quickly as did the fastest scorers amongst the tourists. The feature of the day's play, however, was the thoroughly sound and quickly scored innings of J.S. Ryder, the only century maker of the match.


The Scottish fielding was not so accurate as on the previous day, but nevertheless much good work was done, and particularly by A.D. Innes, who received hearty cheers on several occasions for fine stopping of hard-hit balls, and particularly for the catch he took. All over, the bowling was poor, or made to look so, so much mastery had the Australians over it.


From an Australian point of view the innings of 563 was a great one, but there was a certain monotony about their run-getting that the carefree hitting of J.M. Gregory and Grimmett and especially the latter, was very welcome. The previous highest total of the tour was that of 538 made against Essex.


There was again a good attendance, about 4000 being present during yesterday, making between 12000 and 13000 for the match. The Scottish Cricket Union have been fortunate in their three games as regards weather, and must have done well financially out of the visit of the Australians, with good profits from all the engagements.


Scotland met with quick success on play being resumed, for with only two runs added to the overnight score, W.M. Woodfull touched a rising ball from Groves, and was splendidly taken by J. Kerr fielding in the slips.


Gregory kept matters lively, and his 50 came along in fifty minutes, but soon afterwards, when in the 60's, he had quite an eventful over from Groves, getting three 4's and a 2, and having almost a "life" from the 2. It was a mishit ball, and dropped short, about equi-distance between R.W. Sievwright at mid-off and Innes at cover point, who made a bold attempt, and just failed to reach the ball. A bad stroke it was, and a possible chance, had an alert fieldsman been in Sievwright's position.


The Arbroath United man met with a nice run of successes, and in quick succession. Taylor, Gregory, and T.E. Andrews fell victims to him. All three wickets were obtained at a cost of 11 runs. But the bowler had been at fault again in the field, just after the arrival of Andrew, who hit a ball from C.S. Paterson hard to the ropes, which might have been taken by a more alert fieldsman, and one who had been on his toes and anticipating the coming of the catch. But Sievwright did not even get a hand to the ball. The "life" however, was not material, for Andrew's stay was a brief one.


Gregory's breezy innings lasted 90 minutes, and he had one 6 and twelve 4's. Most of his runs were obtained from lusty drives and pulls. W.H. Ponsford and Ryder jogged along in characteristically steady fashion, scoring quickly, without appearing to be doing so, or unduly exerting themselves.


They were not spectacular in their methods as Gregory had been, but the runs came just as quickly, for they increased the total from 307 to 400 in some fifty minutes. Neither ever seemed like getting out, until Ponsford snicked a ball from D.S. Weir into the safe hands of Anderson in the slips. It was really uneventful cricket the Australians played, but Ryder came quickly towards his 100 before the lunch interval, when he was only 14 short of the three figure score. He gave no chance until 92, when he returned a ball hotly to Groves, the bowler, who got it on the chest, and seemed dazed for a minute or two.


Fortunately, he half-stopped the ball with a hand or he might have been badly hurt. Just afterwards Ryder gained the distinction of being the only man to get a 100 in the match, but in the same over from Groves, which yielded 12 runs, he was brilliantly caught by Innes, fielding at deep point. It was a firmly hit ball, and the Glasgow Academical, who had been fielding well all day, had to go to it to take the catch. Ryder was at the wicket for no more than seventy five minutes and hit twelve 4's.


Grimmett put plenty of punch into his batting, and in twenty minutes hit 29 runs, 24 of which came from 4's. He had most of the 25 that were taken from two consecutive overs from Sievwright.


Taylor was the opening bowler in Scotland's second innings, and there was a variety of balls in his first over, including a wide "full tosser" and one very short pitched. Everett was at the other end, and it was not until the total had reached 36 that Mailey's trundling was requisitioned. Prior to that, however, Scotland had lost Kerr, who has a habit of being out lbw, and suffered that fate with the total at 29, of which he had 11, nine singles and a 2. He provided Taylor with his first and only success with the ball.


Groves again batted nicely, but as on Wednesday, it was not long ere he had a tilt at the "googly" man, to whom he jumped out, and missing, would almost certainly have been bowled or stumped had not the ball hit him on a leg and been diverted. A little later the Heriot's man put a ball through the slips dangerously near Mailey, who, however, did not get a hand to it. Had he taken it it would have been a very fine catch. I.G. Collins, too, might have fallen to Gregory when he had made 2, but the fieldsman appeared to be caught napping.


From one over of Andrews, Groves claimed 10 runs, two 4's and a 2, and so free had his batting been that he reached his half hundred in 53 minutes. That, however, was all the length he got, for he touched a ball then, and was snapped at the wicket.


It was a polished innings he had played, easily the best by any Scotsman, and he showed a confidence, enterprise, and power that is too often lacking in Scottish batsmen on such occasions. There were eight 4's in his 50. Collins also batted with a good deal of assurance and ability, and he was still not out when a persistent drizzle of rain sent the players off the field. The rain continued, and it was ultimately decided to draw stumps without any further play.


At the close of play Scotland with six wickets in hand, still needed 363 runs to save the innings defeat.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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