Scotland v Australia 17 & 18 September 1948
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Mannofield Park, Aberdeen
Scorecard:Scotland v Australians
Event:Australia in British Isles 1948

DateLine: 2nd February 2013




Day 1: Not since the time, 75 years ago, when W. G. Grace captained a united South of England eleven against 22 Northern players has a cricket match caused a greater stir here than in the second one this week between Scotland and Australia, which began to-day.


At close of play Australia had put on 95 for three wickets, in reply to Scotland's total of 173. In fine, though gusty weather, 8000 spectators flocked to Mannofield, which has been transformed for the occasion. The Aberdeenshire club, showing an enterprise seldom associated with Scottish cricket, have erected three temporary stands of the tubular scaffolding type and installed another of the kind seen at Highland Games. The latter will be permanently retained.


It is calculated that over the two days £4000 will be drawn, which, despite all the expense involved, means a windfall for the Scottish Cricket Union, who must now know that it is sound policy to take such matches outside Edinburgh.


That the Raeburn Place rehearsal, in which they had an ample preview of the Australian bowling, had some lessons for the Scottish team was evident, for though the tail was still there, the last five wickets added only 22 runs, the upper half of the side revealed confidence that was reflected in better batting and more fluent scoring.


Bradman called upon fewer bowlers than he did at Edinburgh, though he had as much variety. Taking a bit of spin, the wicket favoured the slower bowlers, such as Ian Johnson, McCool, and Morris more than Bill Johnston and Lindwall, who could not get enough pace out of it.


Lindwall had three spells, in which he bowled ten overs, but though the crowd were glad to get a glimpse of him he was no terror to the Scots, two of whose adopted sons, Willatt and Crosskey, stuck together nobly for 72 minutes to lay a more solid foundation than even the most optimistic expected.


They put on 63 runs in that time. Crosskey's fine stroke play might have been admired by Grace himself, and he really deserved the half century that eluded him. That he did not get the odd run was due to the placing of the fieldsmen by Bradman who shut up the door by having three of them around mid-off. Crosskey tried to find a way out by slamming one from Morris to leg, but the ball travelled into the safe hands of Ring.


In a fifth-wicket stand, Nichol and Aitchison did even better than the opening pair by putting on 65 in quicker time. Sometimes they hit so briskly, Nichol had a 6 and three 4s and Aitchison five 4s, that people were asking if the Australian bowline was as vituperative as it bad been reported at Raeburn Place. Later they were prepared to admit that it was, when they saw a procession of batsmen along the same lines as that of Tuesday.


The innings tasted three hours 45 minutes and finished about the tea interval, leaving Australia with two hours to bat.


After losing Hamence at 46 and Harvey, who never looked at ease in his brief stay, at 55, the tourists were not inclined to take risks against bowling and fielding that fully maintained the high reputation established in the previous match.


The main point of interest to-morrow is whether Bradman, making his farewell appearance in this country, will celebrate it with a notable score.


Day 2: Everyone in the crowd of 10,000 who saw Scotland lose their second match of the week with the Australians by an innings and 87 runs was delighted that Bradman celebrated his farewell with a brilliant innings of 123 not out in ninety minutes.


His masterly display will long be recalled in Aberdeen, where there is a wonderful enthusiasm for the game. In the memory of most of the spectators never had they seen such an exhibition of aggressive correctness ; the runs simply flowed from the bat of the Great Master, whose every glide, glance, or drive through the covers was cheered to the echo.


When they resumed their innings, the Australians greatly accelerated their pace of collecting runs, and the scorers were us busy as the Scottish fielders. McCool, who had thirteen 4s, was once very nearly caught in the slips by Atkinson before he recorded his century after an innings lasting in all three hours, but that was the only semblance of a chance he gave during a most attractive stay.


With Ian Johnson he put on 92 runs in quick time, but that feat was soon eclipsed when Bradman, after a royal reception, joined Ian Johnson in a fifth-wicket stand of 138 in fifty minutes.


Once Johnson was bowled off a no-ball by Laidlaw before being out to a fine running catch by Crosskey on the leg side. The Carlton player was a busy man as soon as Bradman surveyed the field and one wondered if Laidlaw, the Scottish captain, has heard of the Australian leader's fondness for the hook to leg, for, not only did he keep pitching them on that side, but he did nothing to close up the defences by stationing runners like Lumsden or Edward in that direction.


Such an error of judgment was quickly exploited by Bradman, who kept slamming them to the boundary, knocked up his first 50 in thirty minutes, reached his century in eighty minutes, and then, opening his shoulders with such abandon that he hit Nichol for two 6s in succession , got his last 23 runs in ten minutes. Apart from these 6s, be had seventeen 4s.


Many hoped that Bradman would decide to stay long enough to grace the occasion with a double century, but he declared, leaving his bowlers with over three hours to get Scotland out a second time. They succeeded in that effort with something in hand.


Apart from a gallant half-century by Willatt, who had fielded magnificently as well, there was no evidence of unsuspected quality in the Scottish batting. Just as he did earlier in the week at Raeburn Place, Bradman did not bowl himself but gave nine of his men a turn.


Even Tallon, the wicket-keeper, who handed over his job to Ian Johnson, got his chance, and captured two wickets for 15 runs. Johnson finished the match by stumping Laidlaw off King's bowling.


There need be no depression in Scotland over the defeat, for it was no disgrace to be beaten in such fashion by such a remarkably versatile band of opponents who were highly appreciative of the fine ground and cordial reception they got.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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