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North Otago vs Australia
Waitaki Boys Backfield, Oamaru, 22/23 February 1928


North Otago 118 ( L. Sumpter 30, F. Jones 23, Morton 4-22, Grimmett 3-42, McNamee 2-26 ) & 268-6 ( C. Zimmerman 117no, L. Sumpter 56, W.M. Uttley 39, H. Robertson 22no, R.W. McDonald 20 )
Australia 448 ( B.K. Oxenham 169, A.F. Kippax 76, A. Jackson 44, W.H. Ponsford 38, K.Y. Schneider 31, V.Y. Richardson 27, F. Morton 22no, Inder 3-105, Carrington 2-84, Zimmerman 2-85, Hargraves 2-91 )
First innings win to Australia
Scorecard for the match

Bill Ponsford

In the second half of the 1927-28 season Australia took part in a two month tour of New Zealand. The tour included 7 first class matches, including two matches against New Zealand who where yet to obtain test match status. Earlier in the season New Zealand had played a match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground that saw a comprehensive 10 wicket win to the home side. The Australian touring side contained two players who would later make the Australian Cricket Hall of fame Clarrie Grimmett and Bill Ponsford as initial inductees.

Bill Ponsford was mainly an opening batsman, who during the tour would score 425 runs at an average of 56.50. He is one of only two men (the other being Brian Lara) to score over 400 runs in an innings twice, and still holds along with Don Bradman the Australian record of highest test match partnership of 459. He finished his career playing 29 test matches scoring 2122 runs at an average of 48.22 with 7 100s and 6 50s. After he retired he spent over three decades working for the Melbourne Cricket Club and in 1981 the northern stand at the MCG was renamed the WH Ponsford Stand. He was also named in the Australian team of the century.

Clarrie Grimmett

Another player on the tour was Clarrie Grimmett. The Dunedin born cricketer was encouraged by a schoolmaster in his younger years to concentrate on spin bowling rather than fast bowling. He made his debut in first class cricket playing for Wellington as a 17 year old, but six years later moved to Sydney where he played club cricket for six years. He then moved to Melbourne where he played first class cricket for Victoria, but soon moved yet again to South Australia. Making his debut for Australia in 1924 he would play for 12 years where he would regularly take wickets (an average of almost six wickets a match) and become the first player to take 200 test wickets. He remains the only bowler to take over 200 wickets in less than 40 tests and was 33 when he made his debut. In a tour match against Yorkshire in 1930 he become one of the few to have taken 10 wickets in an innings taking 10-37 of 22.3 overs. He was the Wisden cricketer of the year along with Don Bradman in 1931.

During the tour the Australian team made a stop over to Oamaru, where on the back field at Waitaki Boy's High School they played North Otago. In its first match of the season they had lost to South Canterbury by an innings and 97 runs. They faired a lot better in their second match of the season scoring 412 in its first innings against Southland (still a North Otago record vs. Southland) thanks to a big fifth wicket partnership of 237 between Carrington (129) and Carl Zimmerman (117) winning the match by an innings and 212 runs . Zimmerman backed up his batting effort taking 5 wickets for 4 runs in Southlands second innings.

Zimmerman was the main star of North Otago cricket during this period. A school teacher at Waitaki Boys then changing into a solicitor, he scored runs with ease at club level. According to the 125th Jubilee booklet from the Oamaru Cricket Club "There is no record of the total runs scored in his club career but it would be well in excess of any other player. His highest score was 212, a club record, and he bracketed this score with innings of 113 and 151, giving him a total of 476 runs in three successive innings."

The booklet then went on to say that ";Zimmerman played a number of games for Otago but failed to establish himself as a regular member of the team, primarily because he was regularly sent in at the tail of the innings. He had a best score of 77 against Auckland and took nine wickets with his left-arm bowling."
It was to this match that he showed how much talent he possessed when in a stunning innings of only 46 minutes he scored a century. When stumps where drawn he was unbeaten with a score of 117 including four sixes and 17 fours. He was highly praised by the opposition for such an outstanding innings.

The Oamaru cricket club booklet also described another North Otago player Fred Jones.

"Another outstanding player during this era was Fred Jones. A useful batsman who scored 62 not out against New South Wales in 1924, Jones was a wicketkeeper of the highest quality who played for Otago and was regarded locally as good enough to have played for New Zealand. He was an aggressive cricketer who sometimes clashed with the opposition. In 1923 he featured in an incident with the Union captain, Ongley, and the Oamaru club's minutes record that Oamaru refused to play Union until they changed their captain. Six years later Jones led his team from the field because he claimed that the Union player who was umpiring was not being suitably impartial in his decisions. The sequel to this incident was a request from the Oamaru club for the Umpire's Association to be re-established (it had exist briefly in the early 1920s). Oamaru went as far as to guarantee transport for umpires to and from the ground."

A number of articles where written in the local newspaper The Oamaru Mail describing the events of the match. They are displayed below.

Under a dull sky, with little wind, Australia commenced its third match of its tour to-day against North Otago. The wicket was in excellent condition and the outfield in splendid order. Oldfield and Blackie stood out for the visiting team. "Zimmerman won the toss from Richardson, and sent in Uttley and McDonald as the opening batsmen, against the fast bowler Morton, from the north end, and McNamee from the other. At  17 McDonald was caught off Morton by Ponsford in the first slip after scoring 10. 17-1-10 Carrington was next in and opened his account with a single off Morton from his first ball but, after shaping confidently, put one back to the same bowler, who took an easy catch. 25-2-8. Sumpter joined Utley, who when eight was clean bowled by McNamee on the fast ball of an over. 28-3-8. Hargreaves, next in, survived an appeal for lbw from McNamee. At  30 Oxenham relieved Morton, who had taken two wickets for 14. At 40, Hargreaves skied Oxenham to Schneider, who took a good catch. 40-4-6. Zimmerman joined Sumpter, and at 44 Grimmett, the ex-New Zealander, relived McNamee. Sumputer brought up 50 with a pull for 4 off Oxenham. Sumputer was going well, but after hitting two fours off Grimmett, mishit one, and Ponsford took an easy catch in the slips. His score had included five fours. 71-5-30.

There was a gratifying attendance at the High School ground yesterday, and the takings were approximately £100. The turf was in beautiful order, and if the wicket was a little slower than usual, the visitors proclaimed it the best they had played on so far. It was certainly easy for the batsman.The North Otago side did not do itself credit in its first innings, and the bowling was not so excellent as to get the local in its true form for the meagre total of 118. McNamee kept the batsmen guessing with well-concealed changes of pace and Grimmett baffled them with his spin both ways while Morton maintained a good length but none of them getting any help from the wicket. The visitors innings was disappointing for the most part. Certainly Ponsford and Schneider helped themselves liberally off the short stuff bowled to them in the early part of their innings, hooking and cutting with grace and power, but once Inder and Carrington struck a length neither batsman showed any enterprise. Ponsford when he looked as though he had come to stay left his ground to turn a ball to leg, and the ball rebounding of the wicketkeeper's pads, knocked the bails off. Not long after Carrington got Schneider l.b.w. with a balled which might have missed the bails. Alexander, the other Adelaide colt, had not started before Inder bowled him of his pads. This brought Jackson out, and he started streakily. Carrington beat him all the way with a good ball, which struck the edge of his bat. Later he played some nice shots through the slips, and reached 44 before he was well caught at mid-on by H. Robertson. Oxenham and Kippax were together, Oxenham opened very tamely, mis-timng the ball badly, but later took advantage of any loose balls. He gave a chance behind the wicket at 44. At 52 he should have been caught in the slips, and at 74 he should have been run out. Later he hit freely, and reached 105 not out before the end of the day. Kippax was not very comfortable in the opening stages of his strike. Twice Hargreaves nearly had him with straight leg breaks, and there was a confident appeal for lbw off Catto. As he warmed up, however, he batted more confidently, and proved himself the most versatile of the batsmen to date. The North Otago fielding was generally good, but there were one of two inexcusable and surprising lapses. The bowling of Inder, Carrington and, for a period, Zimmerman, permitted few liberties.

When the match was re-started this morning the weather was pleasant and the wicket firmer. Kippax and Oxenham resumed and runs came fast of both Inder and Carrington. Kippax in having a go at Carrington mishit a high spinning ball to mid-on, which was dropped, but in the next over off Inder, Carrington caught him in the slips. Kippax played a number of forceful and well-timed pull-shots and drove cleanly. His was a bright strike but not classical. Woodfull joined Oxenham, who was hitting hard at almost everything, and bore a charmed life. He should have been caught in the slips at 128, and just afterwards a chance of stumping went astray. Woodfull played several nice on drives, but had not gone far before Zimmerman clean bowled him out with an in swinger. Richardson, who came next, was almost bowled with a similar ball. Hargreaves, who had relieved Inder, was throwing up a mixed selection and runs came freely until Richardson at 27 hit his wicket in played back to one from the slow bowler. Grimmett opened with a four past cover, but had reached only nine when he played Hargreaves into Robertson's hands at mid-on. Oxenham closed his long innings by playing one back to Inder. Morton hit hard his 22 and was not out, McNamee giving Sumpter at cover an easy catch off McDonald, who went on late and bowled well. Play after lunch was very bright, and a 6 to Sumpter brought 50 up in 30 minutes. Both Sumpter and Uttley were scoring all round the wicket, Kippax and Ponsford proving expensive. At 2.25 the score was 70 for no wicket (Uttley 30, Sumpter 34).
When the total was 99 Sumpter on-drove Schneider hard into Blackie's hands. The fieldsman accepted the hot chance. Sumpter had 56 to his credit, including three sixes and six fours. Uttley soon followed Sumpter, being caught of Schneider, the score reading 100-2-39. The cricket so far was brighter than in the morning, when the visitors were batting. Hargreaves who followed Uttley, also was a victim to Schneider, hitting one into McNamee's hands, with the score at 105-3-1. The midget bowler was sending down some bewildering stuff. Carrington could not resist an attempt at a leg hit. The ball, however, went from his bat into Richardson's hands with the score 111-4-4. Zimmerman, through scratching a little, hit two fours and brought 120 up with a six off a full toss to leg. McDonald had a life off Schneider, but was batting attractively. At 3.15 the score was 140 for four wickets.
The next two wickets fell cheaply, both McDonald and Jones being caught by Richardson off Jackson. Zimmerman was in his stride, and with a six and several fours off Jackson, his brought 200 up, this being the total at 3.45pm. Zimmerman was 60 and North Otago had four wickets in hand.

The match between the Australian team and the North Otago representatives ended yesterday in a draw, the local side making 268 in their second innings for the loss of six wickets. Of these Zimmerman contributed 117 not out, making his runs in less than fifty minutes. It was a magnificent exhibition of clean and well timed hitting. His scoring shots included 5 sixes and 17 fours, which, as the boundary was not nearer to the wicket than 75 yards was a remarkably fine effort. The bowlers were all of the slow leg break type, which gave Zimmerman a great chance to show his hitting powers. Two other excellent hands were those of Sumpter and Uttley, who opening the innings encounted the strength of the bowling facing Morton and McNamee. Both batted in their best form, and neither appeared to be troubled by the bowling. Sumpter hit powerfully , and, besides one or two clinking good carpet drives, hit 3 sixes. Schneider proved his undoing, for he hit the diminutive South Australian into the hands of Blackie, who field as substitute for Grimmett at mid-on, and the Victorian giant accepted a very hot catch. Uttley hit Schneider up to mid-off where Oxenham held the catch. McDonald and H. Robertson both played useful strikes. Grimmett was unable to field, as he strained a tendon while batting.

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