Australia A romp to victory
Australia A 372/8d & 230/5d
Scotland 149 & 93 (30.1 ov) Australia A won by 360 runs [Scorecard]
Moises Henriques and Ashton Agar began day three for Australia with a lead of 388 runs, but both batsmen had a tricky time getting their eye in against the bowling of Iain Wardlaw and Gordon Goudie early on.
After only his second ball of the day, Wardlaw forced right-handed Henriques into edging a delivery to second slip, but Mommsen was unable to hold on to the sharp head-height catch.
Scotland created some early pressure with Iain Wardlaw, in particular, bowling with good aggression.
Matt Machan replaced Goudie from the Pavilion End and almost immediately claimed the first wicket of the day, however Burnett at long-on could only palm the ball over the boundary for 6.
Agar continued his attacking mind-set from the previous evening, and reached his fifty in emphatic style with a straight maximum.
With a declaration imminent, Agar tried another swipe against Machan but this time it was one too many as Mommsen took the catch at slip.
Henriques passed his half-century with a maximum into the car park, and at the drinks break Australia “A” declared with a lead of 452 runs.
Matt Machan and Josh Davey opened the Scots second innings as they hoped to bat out the day, however the slightly overcast conditions would make batting tricky, although the breaking clouds allowed the opportunity for the sun to make a welcome appearance for the 300 spectators.
The first wicket of the reply fell to James Pattinson, who was swinging the ball with great control. He trapped Machan in front of the stumps with a yorker on the toes of the young batsmen in the 3rd over.
Scotland needed to put the early loss of Machan behind them and battle on, but Pattinson proved again why he is regarded as one of Australia’s best up and coming fast bowlers.
He removed Freddie Coleman without scoring as he was squared up with a fantastic delivery and the catch was taken in the slips to leave Scotland on 17-2 after 5 overs.
Chadd Sayers picked up his first wicket of the match as he removed Davey, with a leading edge back to the bowler who took a sharp caught and bowled.
Preston Mommsen and Richie Berrington made it to the lunch interval without any further setbacks, but disaster struck as the first over of the afternoon session when Peter Siddle was given the ball, and he accounted for Berrington, caught in the slips, and Iqbal leg before wicket.
The two wickets in quick succession rocked the Scottish middle-order, and with the dismissal of Cross for only 1, Scotland were again plunged into trouble on 39-6.
The Australian fast bowlers were doing everything to prevent Scotland from scoring runs and were well backed up by their fielders.
Mommsen fell as the pressure of the close fielders paid off, having been enticed into a forward defensive and got a snick that looped up and was snaffled by Jordon Silk at short-leg.
James Pattinson returned to the attack as the Australian bowlers seemed eager to finish things off quickly.
It didn’t take long as he removed Goudie with his first ball back as the big-hitting lower order batsmen chased a wide delivery.
Burnett was the next man in and looked eager to play some shots. He, however, succumbed to Nathan Lyon’s spin as he tried to hit a maximum straight down the ground.
The last man in, Iain Wardlaw, was reunited with MacLeod to whom he put on a 50 partnership with in the first innings.
MacLeod began to counter-attack and struck consecutive fours down the ground as he moved along to 30 not out.
Wardlaw was unable to replicate his aesthetically pleasing first innings display as he departed for 1 to end Scotland’s innings on 93 all out.
Australia “A” won the match by 360 runs in the end as their bowling line up proved too superior for Scotland on the final day’s play.
Pattinson finished with figures of 4-21 as he and Sayers produced some quality seam bowling throughout the day.
As for Scotland, the players will no doubt be disappointed by their batting performance; however this experience will hopefully prove to be a valuable learning curve for all the players involved.
Matching up against some of Australia’s best cricketers will only benefit the Scotland squad and was a useful exercise in preparation for the Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya in only a month’s time.
James Pattinson, the star performer with the ball throughout the match commented, “It was fantastic that Scotland threw out some fantastic weather for us and we managed to get everything out of the game that we needed to.
Our plan here was not to underestimate the opposition, I think we did that pretty well and didn’t slacken off at any point. I think that although we dominated, Scotland obviously are a team on the up, I think they have some fantastic players with a few of the young guys coming through and I was actually surprised about what they offered out there – their bowling was quite good their batting showed glimpses as well.”
A disappointed Scotland captain Preston Mommsen added, “I think they displayed their skills today, I think individually we weren’t good enough today. It’s been a very good experience to be able to qualify against some of the best players -it’s a good judge of your skill level.”
The captain was quick to praise Calum MacLeod, “He’s had a good few seasons at Warwickshire and has probably played more than the rest of us and that’s probably shown, and had a very good game and played well.”