Scotland v Ireland 24, 26 & 27 July 1948
by Cricket Scotland

Ground:Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow
Scorecard:Scotland v Ireland
Event:Ireland in Scotland 1948

DateLine: 4th February 2013




Day 1:
More than once in his international-career W. Nichol has come to Scotland's rescue, and his reputation as one of their best all-rounders was greatly enhanced by his performance in the first of the three days match with Ireland at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, on Saturday.


After being mainly responsible for getting rid of his opponents with some first-rate spin bowling, in which he cleverly disguised the occasional fast one, to finish with seven wickets for 39 runs, his confident batting pulled his side out of an awkward predicament to give them a favourable chance to-day of at least finishing level on the first innings.


With five wickets still to fall, Scotland, after 100 minutes batting, were 72 runs behind.


On a softish wicket that played occasional pranks, it was clearly evident that none of the Irishmen, who won the toss, with the exception of the stalwart Pollock, and to a lesser degree, Curley, were at all comfortable against bowlers who could make the ball turn, as Laidlaw and Nichol could do.


Pollock's fluent play really deserved the half-century he failed to get, while Curley, a left-hander, in a brief and unceremonious innings, hit Nichol for 6, 2, 4, 2 off successive balls, in a fashion that threatened to knock the Kelburne man off his length.


Laidlaw, thereupon, showed wisdom by taking Nichol off, and after resting him for a spell, putting him on again, but this time at the pavilion end. When he clean bowled Pollock at 125, it was the beginning of the end of the Irish innings.


Bowling into the light wind with fine accuracy, Nichol rounded off a brilliant alter-lunch session by taking five wickets for 7 runs, in five overs, three of which were maidens. Though the Irishmen were never well on top of the Scottish attack, they sometimes revealed an obstinacy which made their collapse the more surprising, but, in any event, Nichol's final analysis was easily the best returned by a Scottish bowler for a considerable time.


Like their opponents, the Irish in their turn found the bowlers who could make the ball spin more profitable than their pace-men. It was a blow to Scotland's hopes to lose Aitchison when their total was only 14 and Crerar, who was out to a catch at silly mid-on before he had scored, and the total was only 18, but Nichol stemmed the rot and if he can stay for a while when play is resumed to-day, he should steer his colleagues to safety.


Day 2:
When the second day's play ended at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, last night, Ireland, with their last pair still together, were 238 runs in front of Scotland.


On a wicket that played easily enough but was beginning to show signs of wear, the Irish team recovered splendidly from a very indifferent start, in which they lost two of their men with only 20 runs scored.


Pollock, who had done so well in the first innings, was again responsible for pulling them round. He figured in three partnerships whose joint efforts yielded 154 runs. Pollock, who had a 5 and three 4s, was in for two and three-quarter hours, and just before he was given out lbw, the large crowd of spectators saw him " bowled " by the second of two no-balls sent down by Laidlaw, the Scottish captain.


Curley, again showing a partiality for the use of the long handle, punished Laidlaw for 6, 6, 4 off successive balls, while Wilson was another who made the Scottish bowling look rather ordinary.


It was not until Nichol, who had earlier distinguished himself by capturing seven wickets for 39 and carrying his bat for a vigorous 60, was transferred from the church to the pavilion end, that the attack developed its sting and the batsmen had to slow down their pace of scoring.


Some of the Scots' fielding was excellent, especially the catch that Laidlaw made close in off a full-blooded drive to dismiss Wilson. Whether the Irishmen decide to go on for a while to-day or declare, a sporting finish to the match appears assured, though Scotland's batting will not need to be the thing of shreds and patches it was on Saturday if they are to stand a chance of winning.


Day 3:
Scotland's batsmen made a disappointing show against Ireland at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, yesterday, when they were beaten by 118 runs.


Not for the first time in his longish career, the medium-paced Irish bowler, J. C. Boucher, who got some top spin on a pitch that was showing signs of wear after three days play, had a highly destructive part in smashing any hopes Scotland may have had of getting the 252 runs needed for victory.


Once Boucher stumbled in a hole at his end of the wicket when he was delivering the ball, but that slight mishap had no restraining influence on his energy.


He kept his end going for two hours, and even against hesitant batsmen, few of whom were able to move their feet at the right time, it was a good performance on his part to take six wickets for 34 runs. That gave him a match analysis of eleven for 78.


One of the few gratifying features about the Scottish display was that Nichol did even better than that over the two innings and had a round dozen, also, by a coincidence, for 78 runs.


One of the strange things about Scotland's spell at the wicket was that nearly all the players who were chosen primarily for their batting fell below expectations, and the onus of improving a somewhat melancholy position was placed on the bowlers.


Faced with the prospect of keeping the game going for another two and a half hours, if they were to get a draw, theirs was an unhappy task, but Hodge and Youngson deserved all the cheers they got as they made the best of it by "having a go."


Youngson is not normally accustomed to long stances at the wicket, so it must have been a luxurious adventure for him to have 30 minutes tenure, during which he hit three 4s of which one was off Boucher, the terror of Scotland.


Small boys cheered not only when a run was scored, but also when the ball was blocked, but it would have been like crying for the moon to have expected the lanky Aberdonian, and his dour clubmate Chisholm, to stave off the defeat that was on its way a long time before they were associated in a last wicket partnership that, producing 27 runs, was Scotland's most prolific.

(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland


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