|Ground:||Mannofield Park, Aberdeen|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v Warwickshire|
|Event:||Warwickshire in Scotland 1949|
When stumps were pulled for the night Scotland, after two hours batting, had done exceedingly well to finish only 162 runs behind and have all their wickets intact.
Willatt and Crosskey settled down to play immaculate cricket after two early escapes. The former might well have been stumped when his score stood at 2 if Spooner, the county wicketkeeper, had grasped the ball. Then Crosskey was almost beaten by a ball from Weeks, a left-hander.
Neither was perturbed over these happenings, for they proceeded to score quickly by keeping the ball well on the carpet and hitting the loose ones hard against the full repertoire of the county's bowling. Crosskey had eight 4s and his captain five. Neither will be easily dislodged if they resume in the same confident mood.
The match did not cause the stir that had been expected in Aberdeen, though perhaps that was due to the change in the weather, which was cold enough to make the fielders rub their hands. There was never a blink of sunshine from morning till night, though it was still a batsman's wicket
Gardner's 146 was the highest score obtained by a Warwickshire player against Scotland since the fixture was inaugurated three years ago. In an innings lasting just short of four hours, he was both safe and enterprising. He had sixteen 4's before Laidlaw, finding his best bowling form to put in a notable finish, had him caught in the slips by Crosskey off a spinner.
Ord, who figured in a third-wicket partnership with Gardner that yielded 157 runs, looked like repeating the century he got in the corresponding match at Birmingham last summer until he got reckless. Twice when he was in the 50s he was lucky not to be caught in the outfield, but at the third attempt Aitchison brought off a brilliant running catch.
Despite the county's big total, runs were not just to be had merely for the asking. The Scottish bowling and fielding, as so often before, were good enough to make them fight for runs. If Laidlaw's googlies and leg breaks gave him the best analysis, due credit had to be given to Henderson, whose excellent command of length, as reflected by his string of maiden overs, fairly kept the pace of scoring down when he was on duty.
Scotland did not reproduce their earlier form when it was most needed, though that, in part, was due to an enforced change in the batting order caused through an injury to T. R. Crosskey, who would have been invaluable in forcing the pace. He went in later, however, and in a sixth wicket partnership with H.F. Sheppard put on 63 runs to make it certain at least that there could be only one result. Sheppard had eight 4s in his half-century.
Apart from its sporting element the match had other distinctions. There was, for example, the rare luxury of seeing two members of the Scottish team, Willatt and Crosskey, getting centuries in the first innings, in a wholly admirable and successful chase to catch up with and pass Warwickshire's total. In partnership they put on 189 which none of the authorities present was willing to declare was not a record stand for an opening Scottish pair.
Though both were born on the other side of the border the warm-hearted Aberdonians gave them an ovation which indicated that they had been freely accepted as honorary and well-beloved sons of Scotland.
Willatt stayed for four hours and revealed confidence that suggested he might have remained all day if personal considerations had been the only ones in his mind. He played faultlessly, and, though always correct, could hit powerfully when the loose ball was served up to him, as was proved by the fact that sixty of his runs were got from boundaries.
There would have been another if an Airedale dog had not decided to field for Warwickshire and arrest the ball as it was going past one of the sight screens. Willatt, who by that time had made the biggest individual total in a post-war representative match for Scotland, had to rest content with a 3.
Crosskey shared his captain's reputation of always justifying his selection with a masterly knock, combining fluent and forceful stroke play. He had ten 4s. He had an escape at 98 when Gardner dropped him at backward point. Willatt declared as soon as he had passed the county's total. Crosskey incidentally had been struck on the leg and could not field when Warwickshire went in for the second time and treated the spectators to some adventurous and fierce hitting.
Gardner, who all but repeated his century of the previous day, and Taylor knocked up the runs at almost breakneck speed, each hitting ten 4s and being associated in a stand that yielded 141 runs. The Scottish bowlers could never claim to be on top, though Edward never lost his hostility and bowled well to his field.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)