|Ground:||Mannofield Park, Aberdeen|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v Ireland|
|Event:||Ireland in Scotland 1930|
It was good going, and gave Scotland a great chance of gaining a victory. This was the first occasion an international cricket match had been played in the northern city, and in honour of the occasion the Town Council of Aberdeen entertained the teams to dinner in the evening.
Some 2000 spectators watched the play, which was noteworthy for the fine performance of Scotland's opening pair, Captain G.W.A. Alexander of the Gordon Highlanders, and J. Kerr, who has so often done well in this series of engagements, in which, prior to Saturday he had recorded well over 1000 runs. In recognition of the fact that Aberdeen was chosen as the venue of the contest, the captaincy of the Scottish side was given to Alexander, and the old Glenalmond schoolboy filled the role right worthily.
More brilliant innings he has played often, and perhaps the responsibility of office prevented him showing his usual freedom. His restraint in the early part of his innings was notable. Of the first 70 runs scored he had less than 20, and he required nearly two hours to reach his fifty.
After that, however, he threw off his reserve, and his remaining 86 runs were secured at the rate of one a minute. All round the wicket did he score, but at no time, not even after reaching his century, did he yield to temptation to indulge in hefty hitting. Nevertheless there were eighteen 4's in his total of 136, and there were but two really bad strokes in his play.
One was just after he had made 50, when he put a ball up dangerously between point and the slips, which two men made for but could not reach, and again at 99 he might have been caught at mid-off. That was a palpable chance, but W. Barnes would have brought off a splendid catch had he taken the ball, for which he was very awkwardly placed. The captain and Kerr took the score to 150 before the first wicket fell.
Kerr was the first to go, and it was not a ball which should have taken a wicket, which brought about his dismissal. It deserved to be punished for 4, and the Greenock man hit it hard with that intention, but, unfortunately for him, he sent it straight to Barnes, who was fielding at long leg.
Previous to that, Kerr had been missed by J. Ganly, the Rugby internationalist, when 71. That was also on the leg side, and it was from strokes in that direction that Kerr obtained most of his runs, mainly from lusty pulls or by stepping in front and turning the ball round. He survived one appeal for lbw early, and so did Alexander.
It was a typical John Kerr innings, and he scored much faster than his partner in the early stages of their partnership, thanks largely to the fact that he had ten 4's in his 53 runs. He was at the wicket five minutes less than two hours, and hit in all fourteen 4's.
The opening pair scored no fewer than 224 of the Scottish total of 316, and if extras are deducted, the others got 79 amongst them. On an excellent wicket, the Irish bowling was never slack, and was definitely on top of the bat after Alexander and Kerr had been disposed of.
Six Irish bowlers were tried, and three times during the Scottish innings did two wickets fell at the same totals, 246, 281, and 315. Mistakes were made in the field, but, generally, the fielding was very good, and was frequently changed.
A.K. McTavish played a useful innings of 31, but did not bat with his accustomed freedom. He was at the wicket for 75 minutes. W. Nicholson, who had the only 6 of the day, stayed for nearly an hour for 28, and A.D. Innes stood for thirty minutes in making his 3.
After fully four hours and a half in the field, the Irishmen, batting in none too bright a light, made a disastrous start. They lost two wickets without a run being recorded, and both men fell to the fast bowling of A.D. Baxter, who got a lot of "bite" into his deliveries, and demonstrated all to clearly that the Irishmen were sorely handicapped by the fact that they had no fast bowler. At the close of play Ireland had scored 4 runs, and had two wickets down.
So easily, indeed, did they defeat their opponents that the match was brought to a termination yesterday evening, without any play on the third day being necessary. For Scotland's latest success over the men of Ireland, two batsmen, Alexander and Kerr, and two bowlers, Baxter and Hiddleston, were chiefly responsible.
The batsmen had their innings on Saturday; yesterday the bowlers backed them up so well that at the close of the day Scotland was left with a very simple task to win. They needed but 14 runs in their second innings, and these were got without the loss of a wicket.
Baxter bowled with great effect during the first hour, and continued to keep a good length and a fast pace all through the day. He bowled in all 30 overs yesterday, and none of the batsmen could gain a mastery over him. His six for 35 was a splendid performance in an international match.
Hiddleston was expensive at times, but he also played a big part in Scotland's success, and in the second innings he amply repaid the Scottish captain's perseverance with him in spite of punishment. Then he bowled 24 overs without a break, and took seven wickets at an average cost of less than ten runs.
Dixon was the only one to hit him freely, and in the course of the two innings took three 6's off his bowling, but the batsman should have been one of the South African Scot's victims, for in the second innings he was missed by Nicholson close to the boundary when he had had but 14 at his credit, and as Dixon went on to make 48 not out, that "life" probably meant that the Scots were deprived of an innings victory.
Whenever any attempt was made to hit Hiddleston, there was always a danger, from the spin he put on the ball, of a catch being made.
There was nothing very distinctive or outstanding about the Irish batting. They were always struggling, but they fought gamely, and did well to save an innings defeat. All over, they were not a distinguished lot. Right through the match the Scots were clearly masters, and they won on their merits. Last year they won at Dublin by nine wickets.
Disaster followed disaster on Ireland's first innings being resumed, and, as on Saturday evening, it was the bowling of Baxter which did the damage. Other three wickets fell to him in quick time, and with six men out, he had bowled eight overs and had taken five wickets for 6 runs only. Moreover, he had hit the stumps every time.
The ball got up awkwardly at times but the wicket was always playing quite well, and could not be said to be giving the bowlers any assistance. It was a good batsman's wicket. To Farquhar fell the other wicket, and he got it through a smart catch by Brown at cover point, the fieldsman taking the ball low down and holding on to it.
It seemed as if the Irishmen were to be out for a miserably poor total, but Dixon and Ganly displayed some resolution, and by bold batting and the snatching of runs at every opportunity they raised the score from 24 for six wickets to 81 for seven. Hiddleston, the Selkirk slow left-hander, proved expensive, but he managed to break up the troublesome partnership, Ganly failing to get a proper hold of a ball from him and spooning it to be caught at mid-on by Baxter, who, running backwards, was very awkwardly placed when taking the ball. Dixon and Ganly put on 57 in forty minutes.
Nine men were out for 96, and the end seemed near. The last pair, however, offered a stubborn resistance, and by as good cricket as any seen in the innings, added 49 runs to the total, and even threatened to save the follow on. Their stand brought on Brown to bowl for the first time, but it was not until Baxter had come back that the last wicket was captured. The batsmen were aided by some slackness in the field, which meant the conceding of byes and runs from overthrows.
The Irishmen made a much better show when they followed on 171 runs behind, and it was not until 50 had been recorded that the first wicket fell. Hiddleston was the successful bowler, and it was off his second delivery that T.J. Macdonald was easily taken at point.
Previous to that Baxter, Brown, Farquhar, and Alexander had all had a turn with the ball. The first pair began by scoring 30 in twenty minutes, but in the next twenty the total was increased by other four only. The bowling of Alexander was mainly responsible for the sharp contrast. He bowled six overs. 3 of which were maidens, for 9 runs, including a 4.
James Macdonald, a brother of "T.J.," helped McDonagh to put on 29 for the second wicket, and then the game took a turn against Ireland, three men going quickly, including McDonagh, who had played a sound innings, which included eight 4's, and lasted an hour and 20 minutes. Ingram stayed a long time, and Barnes, as in the first innings, batted very well, especially for one who came in last as a reserve, and had not played before in an international match.
Both the Rugby international players, Ganly and Sugden, had "ducks," but Kelly, the captain, again offered a stubborn defence, and stayed with Dixon for twenty minutes for one run, to be ultimately bowled by Hiddleston round his legs. Dixon hit freely and hard, but he was often beaten by Hiddleston's breaks, and the Selkirk player would have got no more than his due had he secured his wicket.
Dixon was dropped twice, once by Nicholson, and again by Innes, who stopped a hot one off Farquhar's bowling, but could not hold the ball. One of Dixon's 6's enabled the Irishmen to pass Scotland's total.
It had been arranged to draw stumps at six o'clock, but as the Irish second innings concluded just at that time the decision was come to play out the game. Simpson and Baxter soon got the necessary 14 runs, but the Grange man might have been caught before the winning hit was made by him.
To fill in the third day it was arranged to have a time-limit match today, starting at 11.30, each side to bat two hours.
Only a few hundred people were present at yesterday's play.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)