Scotland v Ireland 22, 23 & 24 July 1920
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
Scorecard:Scotland v Ireland
Event:Ireland in Scotland 1920

DateLine: 3rd February 2013




Day 1:
There was nothing very stirring about the cricket on the fifth annual encounter between the Gentlemen of Scotland and the Gentlemen of Ireland, which commenced yesterday on the Grange ground at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. All the same, the play was full of interest.


The Scottish team finished up well in arrears, and with only two wickets to fall in their first innings, they were still 95 runs behind at the close of the day's play. The display of the Scotsmen with the bat was distinctly disappointing.


Quinlan, who bats left-hand and bowls right, Bateman, and McNamara all played excellent cricket, but it was left to Kelly, a bowler rather than a batsman, and who got his cricket "blue" for Oxford in 1901, to put most life into the proceedings, and but for his hitting, McDonald's average would have been a much better one than it was.


Most of the runs got by Kelly, who by the way, stands 6 feet 5 inches, were from McDonald's left-hand slows. Up to the point that Kelly came on the scene, the Edinburgh University bowler had taken four wickets for 25 runs, and if in the end the bowler got Kelly's wicket, it was at the cost of the doubling of his total runs.


It was satisfactory to note that all over the fielding of the Scottish team was good, the catching being safe, and the ground work as a general rule accurate. Many a boundary was saved by the keenness and smartness of Kerr in the long field. The Greenock man, like several others, was often cheered for his fine scouting.


In batting too, he played in characteristic style, and was well over an hour at the wickets for his 28. He batted patiently, and had the good luck to be missed when 11. Sorrie's was the best innings on the Scottish side, and of all who went to the wickets he looked to be most at his ease. Some of the others were fidgety a little. Generally speaking there was more confidence shown at the wickets by the Irishmen, and that was really the secret of their greater success.


The Scots were also opposed to a fine set of fielders, and a notable feature of the day's work was the fine form shown by Hone, the Irish captain, behind the stumps. He kept with style and so much effect that he helped in the disposal of no fewer than four of the Scottish batsmen. The Irishmen were well worthy of the advantage they had gained.


The Irish captain won the toss, and with the wicket, the first one prepared for a big match under Jack Keene's groundsmanship, in perfect order for batting, he took advantage of his good fortune and sent the Scotsmen out to field. From the first over sent down, by McDonald, no fewer than 9 runs were obtained, and though that rate of progress was not maintained, the Irish pair never seemed to be in any trouble. Slowly but surely the score rose, chiefly by quietly played singles.


At 39 the Scottish captain decided on a double change in his attack, Fraser going on at the pavilion end for McDonald, and Paterson taking the place of the Peebles County man. It was at 60 that the first break in the Irish innings was made, Blair White being taken at the wicket, and with only two more runs recorded, another general appeal for a catch by Murray saw Lambert return to the pavilion after a stay of little more than five minutes.


Edinburgh people know Lambert's abilities as a batsman, some by repute, and others by recollection of the big scores he made when resident in Edinburgh in his veterinary student days. And the Irishman scored a brilliant century in this match at Partick two years ago, when the visitors put on the huge total of 409 for four wickets.


Nor did the Irish captain, Hone, give much bother, and three wickets were down for 73 runs. There was no suggestion, however, of a further breakdown, for Bateman, the new-comer, gave Quinlan splendid aid, and between the two the fourth wicket added a valuable 57.


Bateman's was a lively innings, free and attractive, and Quinlan always batted with the same steadiness. He waited for the right balls, and as is characteristic of the left-hander, he hit freely on the leg side, whence he got the majority of his runs. Quinlan was at the wickets for an hour and forty minutes, and he gave but one chance, a very hard one, to Paterson at second slip, two balls before the one that dismissed him. It was a fast yorker that sent him back.


McDonald came on a second time when the Irish total stood at 142. At once he met with success. He got a wicket in his first over without any addition to the total, Rooney being taken at point, and so effectively did the change work that the Edinburgh University student had had three victims for seven runs by the time he had bowled his fourth over.


He soon claimed a fourth, and was, indeed, carrying all before him till the stalwart Kelly came in. The new-comer shaped queerly at Fraser's bowling, but he punished the slow left-hander severely during his brief but merry stay. He hit him twice for 4's and once for a 6, a grand stroke, which sent the ball into the members' tea enclosure.


Kelly had another great swipe, bur Sorrie was on the spot, and right up against the ropes he brought off a grand catch, the fieldsman taking the ball at the second attempt. The innings, which had lasted a little over three hours, soon came to an end after Kelly left.


On a wicket that was showing no trace of wear, the Irish total of 224 did not seem too formidable a one for the Scotsmen to face, and the opening batsmen set about their work as if they meant business, but at the same time with caution. Sorrie in particular, played sound cricket, and some of his glances to leg off the fast bowlers of Ireland were very finely executed. The first pair seemed settling down for a good stand, but at 25 the Perthshire man was out to a catch in the slips off the bowling of Ward, a fast left-hander.


That was bad enough, but worse was to follow, for Dickson went first ball, caught at wicket by the Irish captain. On Bowie joining Sorrie, the hopes of Scotland rose again. Both men plodded along quietly, and bided their time in making runs, most of which came in singles, but they had only got the length of 67, having added 42, when the Clackmannan County representative hit a tame one back to the bowler, who, however, had to jump forward smartly to take the ball.


The sending back of Bowie was the forerunner of another series of misfortunes for Scotland. At 71 Sorrie fell victim to Hone's cleverness at the wickets. He had batted with assurance for just under an hour. Then at 82 Watson practically threw away his wicket. He hit a ball sharply to Shaw at point and started to run. Kerr, however, sent him back at once, but before he could get to safe quarters the fielder had sent a quick return, and Hone, who missed nothing in the way of chances, had the wickets broken. At 87 Peterson played his favourite glide stroke to leg into the trap prepared for him.


Murray helped Kerr put on a useful 28 for the seventh wicket, and then the former was out to a catch at wickets, and 14 runs later Eddie also fell victim to Hone's excellence. At the fall of this wicket, the eighth, stumps were drawn for the day.


The weather was pleasant throughout. There was some rain, but it never caused any delay. The attendance was disappointing. It would not be more than a thousand people all told.


Day 2:
There was considerable fluctuation in the play yesterday in the international match between the Gentlemen of Scotland and the Gentlemen of Ireland at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. At the close of the day, however, the Irishmen once more had a substantial lead, and the probability was that in the end the Scots would have to be content to play for a draw.


The latter made a splendid recovery, batting all the time before lunch, and there was a curious result of a tie in the first innings, but later in the afternoon Quinlan and Lambert, by exercising great caution, gained a complete mastery over the Scottish attack, and when stumps were drawn, the Irish Gentlemen were 212 runs on and still seven wickets in hand.


That the Scotsmen did so well was due in a great measure to the all-round ability of John Kerr, of Greenock. He helped materially in the effort that was required to enable the Scotsmen to tie with their opponent's first score, and not only that, but he broke up the troublesome second wicket partnership of Ireland, and soon afterwards brought off a brilliant catch which sent Lambert back. Kerr, indeed, was the man of the moment, for apart from the doings referred to, he was constantly to the fore with keen and clever fielding.


The efforts made by the Scots in the early part of the day to get on terms with their opponents were full of interest for the spectators, but in the afternoon, when close on a thousand people would be present, the Irish batting, though always good, was lacking in dash and enterprise.


At no time was there anything spectacular about it, and indeed Quinlan and Lambert could hardly have batted with greater care, and watched the bowling more closely, had they been engaged in a test match at Lord's. But, of course, there was no need to hurry; it was three days' cricket, and real sound stuff at that.


With an exception now and again, the Scottish fielding was quite satisfactory, and often brilliant, and the bowling, if not meeting with much success, was as a rule of a sort that could not be treated lightly. Fraser always bowled well; Paterson kept a good length, and McDonald had to be closely watched.


The remaining two Scottish wickets gave no end of bother, and change after change had to be resorted to in the attack before the innings came to a close. John Kerr was as dour and dogged as ever in his defence, but runs came from his bat more freely than had previously been the case.


His partnership with Fraser was a most profitable one; it realised 47 runs, and the fact that these were for in fifty minutes was an indication that the batsmen were not idle. The Perthshire captain claimed 44 of them, and he batted with delightful freedom. Never once, however, had he a rash hit, and his innings was quite the best on the Scottish side. It was by a brilliant one-handed catch at point that this splendid association was broken up. It had made the game an absolutely equal one, and put a fresh interest into it.


When Fraser left, Scotland was still 28 runs behind, but the last man in, McDonald, offered a defence quite as stubborn as that which Kerr was showing, and slowly but surely the arrears were wiped off. The last two were together for fully half an hour, and the Scottish total had been brought exactly equal with that of the Irishmen by a 4 to leg from Kerr, when the Edinburgh University bowler had his wicket disturbed.


It was a very creditable performance on the part of the Scotsmen, who at the close of the first day's play appeared likely to finish with a big deficiency. Kerr's wonderfully patient innings lasted for two hours and a half, and he had six 4's, three 3's and four 2's. It was a great effort on the part of the Greenock man, though not a faultless one.


With the game taking a turn in favour of the Scots, it seemed as if the tide were to continue to flow that way. At 8, Blair White was got rid of, but Quinlan was proving as troublesome as he had been in the first innings, and Lambert was not to be easily disposed of as the day before.


Neither of the batsmen found any trouble with any of the bowling, but the 100 took ninety minutes to get, and the batsmen proceeded steadily on their way, despite many changes that were made in the attack, Bowie and the captain himself having each a turn, apart from the numerous changes that were rung on the four bowlers who had done duty on Thursday.


As a last resort, Kerr was called up at 142 to try his slow "drops," but even then the batsmen would not be tempted to hit out at. Careful batting continued to be the order of the day. The change, however, soon proved effective, for in his third over Kerr found a way through the defence of Quinlan, who was feeling away at the slows and frightened to hit them. Quinlan was at the wickets two hours and three quarters. The partnership had realised 149 runs.


Once the two had been separated, it was not long before Lambert followed his colleague to the pavilion. He hit a ball hard to mid-off, where Kerr was stationed, and with a great effort the fieldsman fixed on to the ball and held it. He fell in making the catch, and took the ball so low down that Lambert asked the umpire if all was in order. The decision was given against the batsman.


Lambert's was a much more polished and stylish display than that of Quinlan. No further successes came Scotland's away, and when stumps were drawn three wickets were down for 212. So far the innings had lasted three and a half hours. A start is to be made tomorrow (Saturday) at half-past eleven o'clock.


Day 3:
The international contest at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, between the Gentlemen of Scotland and the Gentlemen of Ireland resulted in a draw partly in favour of the visitors.


As matters turned on, the Irishmen might have had a victory had they played the game differently, and they could have done so without risking much, but even at that, had the better part of an hour not been wasted at the start of the day's play on Saturday, owing to rain, they would probably have got their opponents out. Where, however, the mistake was made by the Irishmen was not in forcing matters more after a good lead had been obtained. They took their batting much too seriously.


The Scotsmen, in the fourth innings of the game, had three hours and three-quarters to bat, and with the opening pair making runs at more than a steady pace, there was just a possibility, as long as they remained together, that Scotland would get the runs, or, at least, be in a position to make a bold bid for them. That hope, however, was soon dissipated, and in the end the home eleven were very glad to escape with a draw.


They did well to get it, for they were struggling all through the match, and they were greatly indebted to their opponents for mistakes made in the field during the closing stages. John Kerr of Greenock, continued to play a prominent part in the game, and his stay of two hours went far to enable Scotland to escape a defeat. R. Gardiner, the Perthshire man, also played a great innings at a critical time, and he was at the wicket for two hours and twenty minutes. There was a great contrast in the styles of these batsmen, and while Kerr could gather in but 22 runs, Gardiner put 78 to his account.


Of those playing against the Irishmen, Kerr, Gardiner, M.R. Dickson, notwithstanding his two failures with the bat, J.W. Sorrie and W.L. Fraser are almost certain to be asked to play against Northamptonshire at Broughty Ferry next month, and others likely to be in the eleven are R.G. Tait, R.W. Sievwright, G.K. Chalmers, J.A. Fergusson, and probably two professionals, of whom one is certain to be Benskin. Perhaps Morfee, of Dunfermline, will be the other.


Even though 212 runs for three wickets had been made, steady, careful batting was the order of the day when the Irish innings was resumed on the final day, but after the opening batsmen, Hone and Bateman, had got thoroughly set they scored more freely. Dickson changed his bowlers frequently, but it was not until Kerr, "the man of the match," was again brought into requisition that another break was made in the Irish defence. The fourth wicket had put on 104 runs.


The fifth wicket also gave trouble, and it seemed as if Hone were certain of his hundred. But he did not manage it. He was still in at the lunch interval, when he had made 88, but he should not have got that length, for Watson missed him most unaccountably at short leg when he had 87. It was the simplest of chances.


Hone played excellent cricket for two hours and a quarter, and included in his hits were thirteen 4's. McNamara was also missed by Bowie in the slips when he had made 2.


Kelly livened up matters at the close of the innings. He was at the wickets for less than fifteen minutes. He had eleven strokes in all, and four of them were 4's. The closure was applied with five wickets down for 368, and altogether the innings has lasted for over five hours.


The start made by Scotland was quite a promising one, Sorrie and Gardiner giving their side such a fine lead that 68 had been scored before the Carlton man was caught at point. This misfortune was almost immediately followed by two others, Dickson, who was in a hurry to get the runs, going at 70, and Bowie eight later, and it was then all to evident that Scotland's only hope lay in getting a draw.


When Kerr and Gardiner became associated such a result seemed a very probable one. The former, as it were, resumed his patient not out innings of the previous day, and would not be tempted, and Gardiner played with considerable freedom. At the outset, as became the circumstances of the game, he was more cautious than is his wont, but later on he roused himself up, and the Gardiner of Saturday afternoon cricket would make himself in evidence every now and then.


Occasionally even he was reckless. Once he had the narrowest of escapes from being stumped. Hone had nipped the bails off with the greatest celerity, but the batsman had got back with equal rapidity, and if there was and doubt about the matter, he rightly got the benefit of it. He and Kerr put on 69 for the fourth wicket. Gardiner, however, had two "lifes" one at 9, and the other at 71. He hit nine 4's.


Watson did not make good some poor fielding on his part, and Fraser, who was promoted from tenth to seventh place, did not repeat his success of the first innings.


It had been decided to draw stumps at half-past six if the match was clearly not in a position to have a definite finish, but, as only three Scottish wickets were upstanding at that hour, play was, of course, prolonged. Murray went in for hitting, but Paterson played with the greatest caution, though he gave a palpable chance to the wicket-keeper when 7, and when fully fifteen minutes remained for play.


The attendance on Saturday would amount to close on 2000, and probably would have been bigger had the weather about midday not been so threatening. About an hour was lost before lunch through rain, and late in the afternoon, when the Scotsmen were batting, the light became very bad owing to heavy black clouds passing over the ground.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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