|Ground:||Raeburn Place, Edinburgh|
|Scorecard:||Scotland v Yorkshire|
|Event:||Yorkshire in Scotland 1950|
There was a slight smirr of rain at times and a short stoppage before lunch, but even so the crowd rolled in and swelled to 4000 during the afternoon.
The great attraction, of course, was Hutton, the great apostle of technique in England, and those who saw him were not disappointed in his display, though he was out before making the century they might have expected.
On a wicket that was playing slower than those his team have been experiencing in England recently, he played stylishly for 135 minutes against accurate Scottish bowling and sound fielding, which was better on the ground than in the air, where catches were dropped.
Horner, one of the Yorkshire colts, helped him to lay a sound foundation, and scoring chiefly on the leg side, stayed for an hour and twenty minutes for 36 before being held by Youngson at mid-off, when the Yorkshire total was 83.
Before that, when the County's total was 79 and Hutton's 43, the last-named had a peculiar escape. Trying to drive a ball off Edward, he almost pulled it on to his wicket, but he succeeded in getting the luckiest of 4s.
Just shortly after that Hutton reached his 50, though on the resumption after lunch he was dropped in the gully by Allan off Youngson at 63. The end of his innings came rather unexpectedly when, on attempting to chop a ball from Henderson through the slips, he was held by Crosskey, who promptly took a catch after Allan, getting his hands to it, failed to grab the ball but knocked it on.
Hutton hit six 4s in his total, and afterwards Yorkshire were well tied down by the Scottish bowlers, among whom Laidlaw and Henderson performed particularly well, the latter, the tall Forfarshire left-hander having a very long spell in which maiden overs predominated and in which he kept an excellent length.
There was nothing distinguished about the Yorkshire batting until Yardley got going, but even he had one or two slices of luck and seemed to account himself fortunate before getting his century, in which he included eight 4s.
Once, indeed, just after he had got 50, the assembled crowd could hear an "Oh, ah" from Yardley when Henderson dropped a hard return from him off his own bowling. But, in any case, it was a very pleasant day's cricket in which Scotland did very well against such formidable opposition.
That Yorkshire were not on the train back to Leeds last night or spending to-day sightseeing in Edinburgh was entirely due to a magnificent sixth-wicket stand by W. A. Edward (Clydesdale) and W. Nichol (Kelburne )who pulled the side round after a calamitous start and put on 103 runs during the 100 minutes they were associated.
Edward is neither the most accomplished nor picturesque batsman in the Scottish team, but he has the heart of a lion and a wonderful temperament for the game. More than once he has saved the Scots in a crisis.
Just a week or two ago he prevented a threatened flop against Ireland at Perth when he took his courage in his hands, decided that J.C. Boucher was not the awful bowling ogre that his analysis suggested, and hit up 99.
Yesterday he was in similar mood and anything the Yorkshire bowlers liked to send up was treated with a disrespect they might hardly have expected north of the Tweed.
Scotland's adopted and well-loved sons, G. L. Willatt and T. R. Crosskey, who have done so well in the past, were back in the pavilion unusually early for them, there were only two runs on the board when they were taking off their pads, and Yorkshire's fast bowler R. Aspinall and his excellent fieldsmen rubbed salt into the wound when they had the Rev. J. Aitchison (Kilmarnock) among the unemployed when the total was only nine.
Then the youthful members of the team, R.H.E. Chisholm (Aberdeenshire) and W.R. Allan (Edinburgh Academicals), did something to stop the rot against a hostile and accomplished attack, to which was added the guile of the left-handed spinner, J. H. Wardle, the Test player.
But the total was only 47 when Chisholm and Allan were out, and the prospect were distinctly gloomy before Edward and Nichol settled down. Both looked extremely comfortable, Edward particularly so, as was seen when he cracked Wardle for two quick 4s.
He got his 50 from a boundary hit off Leadbeater, the leg-break bowler, and acknowledged the cheers he so well deserved with another 4 off the same bowler from his next delivery.
A little later Nichol, just to show that he has recovered his old form, turned one from Wardle to leg for his half-century, Off the first ball of the next over, from Halliday, Nichol was out with the score at 150, and Edward followed him eight runs later after having pulled Scotland out of a hole by putting them well on the way to averting the follow-on.
The hard-hitting S.H. Cosh (Ayr), the wicket-keeper, hit two 4s and a single in a brief stay to make it certain that Yorkshire would have to bat again, and that the match would go into its third day.
Yorkshire batted after tea, and though Len Hutton, suffering from lumbago, was not in his usual place as opening batsman, the players who went to the wicket scored steadily, and showed no inclination to sit on the splice, despite the fact that run-getting was not exactly easy against a very well-placed Scottish field and eminently useful bowlers, notably the tireless Henderson and the energetic Edward.
One way and another it should be an interesting finish, though it looks as if Scotland will have to be on their toes to get a draw.
Everybody knows that spin bowling implies discomfort for Scottish batsmen, but while some of them played themselves out through weak shots, there was no doubt that the left-handed Wardle made full use of the wicket, which was "playing funny" after the rain of the previous night, and would probably have tied up most English counties.
The pace bowlers , Aspinall and Appleyard, seemed to be more hostile than they had been in the first innings, though it was Wardle who started all the damage by getting Scotland's opening pair, Willatt and Crosskey, to nibble at balls which they might well have left alone. Both were out to weak shots, Crosskey at point and Willatt at short leg.
Len Hutton did not field for Yorkshire yesterday owing to his attack of lumbago, which he hoped would not be severe enough to prevent his appearance in his benefit match against Middlesex at Lords to-day. He left Edinburgh yesterday just before his colleagues got Scotland on the run, and F.A. Lowson acted as his substitute.
N.W.D. Yardley decided to have another 20 minutes batting before declaring round about noon and leaving Scotland with the job of getting 269, in about three and three quarter hours, to win.
There were indications that the pace of scoring was nothing like that required to give Yorkshire a challenge. Against the well-varied county attack and keen fielding, Willatt and Crosskey had no alternative but to play safe and hope for the best, or that they would do better than they had done in the first venture. They were getting along nicely, if slowly, when Crosskey, with the total at 25, hit one off the edge of his bat into the receptive hands of Leadbeater.
An hour passed before the total reached 30, and when lunch was taken at the end of 90 minutes play, Willatt and Allen had taken it to 46. It was the first hour after lunch that completely changed the fortunes of the game, with the pendulum swinging over to Yorkshire's side with a vengeance.
Willatt was out without addition to the score, off the third ball sent down by Wardle after the resumption, and in the next over Aspinall , who had taken over from Appleyard at the pavilion end, clean bowled Allan with a swinging ball.
When Chisholm was caught by the wicket-keeper, Firth, all the luck seemed lo be running against Scotland, but the procession had started, and there was no one to stem the rot, as had happened in the first innings Nichol and Edward, the heroes of a sixth wicket stand that produced 103 runs the previous day, were unable to stay long enough to produce even a little bit of their best form, and wickets fell steadily and quickly till the innings closed at 3.20 p.m.
As that was about an hour before the scheduled time for pulling stumps, the crowd were left with plenty of time for inspections of the wicket that had proved to be the graveyard of Scotland's hopes, but it was a pity that the game could not have been prolonged for a while, for the weather was easily the best of the three days and made it a joy to watch cricket.
The size of the crowd, about 4000 on Wednesday and the same on Thursday, though smaller yesterday, indicated, firstly, that there is a public for the game, and, secondly that Raeburn Place is a most convenient and comfortable venue for such fixtures.
(Article: Copyright © 2013 Cricket Scotland http://cricketscotland.com)