Historic moment for Scotland as they register first win against England

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One to remember: Alasdair Evans (fourth left) celebrates with his team-mates

Scotland stunned the cricketing world by beating number one-ranked England by six runs in a nerve-wracking one-day international in Edinburgh.

Having posted a massive 371 with the bat, Scotland held their nerve in the field and with the ball to clinch a thrilling game in dramatic fashion with just seven balls of the match remaining.

Safyaan Sharif was the man to clinch the victory, trapping Mark Wood leg before wicket in the penultimate over to spark wild celebrations and a pitch invasion from a tense crowd at the Grange.

After Jonny Bairstow’s earlier century, England looked like they were creeping towards victory thanks to a 71-run eighth-wicket partnership between Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett.

However, the hosts held their nerve to pick up the remaining three wickets and an emotional victory.

It is the first time Scotland have beaten England in international cricket, and it came in their first game since being cruelly denied a place in next year’s World Cup.

Scotland were out to prove a point after the decision was made to cut down the number of participating nations from 14 to 10, making it harder for associate nations to compete and grow the game – and they showed they can compete with the best by seeing off the world’s top 50-over side in stunning
fashion.

It is an embarrassing defeat for England just a year before the World Cup they have clearly set their sights on winning – but they could have no complaints after conceding 371 to Scotland, the hosts’ highest score in ODI cricket.

There was further history made with Bairstow’s century his third in a row – the first time an English batsman has done that – but his 54-ball effort was in vain as England came up short.

The target was set after Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross had laid the foundations with an opening partnership of 103, which set the tone for the rest of the day after being put in to bat.

The pair fell in quick succession, but that only brought Calum MacLeod to the crease and the former Durham batsman proved the mainstay throughout the innings as he smashed his seventh ODI ton.

He had support from George Munsey (55) but his unbeaten 140 from 90 balls was the standout knock of the match and proved too much for England, despite a promising start to the reply.

Jason Roy and Bairstow looked like making a mockery of the total by racing past 100 in the opening 10 overs, but once Roy fell England were unable to put together any substantial partnerships as wickets fell at regular intervals.

Bairstow was brilliant for his 105 but he holed out when he could have gone on and made the game safe, and after Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan fell in successive balls, England looked well up against it.

David Willey and Sam Billings also fell cheaply as the visitors slipped to 276 for seven, before Moeen and Plunkett combined to breath life back into the contest.

They were going along at a good rate and the crowd had finally been quietened when Moeen chipped to long-off to revive Scottish hopes, then Adil Rashid was run out as nerves began to get the better of the batsmen.

Sharif then trapped Wood dead in front of the stumps to clinch an emotional victory for the Scotland players.

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Kusal Mendis century fails to save Sri Lanka from heavy defeat against West Indies in Port of Spain Test

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Kusal Mendis scored a ton on Sunday.

Kusal Mendis slammed his fifth Test century but it wasn’t enough as Sri Lanka slumped to a 226-run defeat against the West Indies on the final day of the first Test at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday.

The visitors’ hopes of a famous win ended when Mendis was caught behind for 102 off pacer Shannon Gabriel in the morning session .

Sri Lanka’s hopes of saving the match evaporated when they lost three more wickets in the first session, including two in the final over bowled by off-spinner Roston Chase.

Nightwatchman Lahiru Gamage fell lbw to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for just three after more than an hour’s batting but the main blow came from Chase who dismissed captain Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella in five deliveries.

Roston Chase picked up four wickets for the Windies.

Roston Chase picked up four wickets for the Windies.

Chandimal was forced to suspend his innings on Saturday after falling ill. He resumed his innings on Sunday after the dismissal of Mendis and showed no signs of ill-health until Chase tempted him into a heave over midwicket that went to Kraigg Brathwaite at mid-on.

Chandimal was joined in the pavilion by Dickwella as the wicketkeeper was trapped lbw by a quicker delivery from Chase.

Sri Lanka’s resistance ended four overs after lunch as they were bowled out for 226 to lose by as many runs. All-rounder Chase finished with figures of 4-15 while leg-spinner Bishoo took 3-48.

Earlier, Mendis reached three figures as he flicked a ball from West Indies captain Jason Holder to square-leg for his tenth boundary.

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Mohammad Nabi and other key batsmen for Afghanistan in inaugural Test against India

Ashish Peter 10/06/2018
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All-rounder Mohammad Nabi will be one of the key batsmen.

Less than four days remain before Afghanistan make their historic Test bow against India in Bengaluru.

All the talk ahead of the highly-anticipated one-off Test has revolved around Afghanistan’s spin-contingent with skipper Asghar Stanikzai going as far as saying that his spinners are better than their Indian counterparts.

However, spin is not the only weapon at the disposal of the Afghans. While the limelight remains on the bowlers such as Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman, we take a look at the Afghanistan batsmen to watch out for.

ASGHAR STANIKZAI

The 30-year old Afghan skipper is one of the most experienced players in the squad with 86 ODIs, 54 T20Is and 23 first-class matches under his belt.

A proven performer with the bat for Afghanistan, Stanikzai’s average in limited-overs cricket is 22 but there is no denying his importance in Afghanistan’s line-up.

Stanikzai has slammed five tons and three half-centuries in his 23-match first-class career and he has the ability to the play the long innings in the five-day format.

The Afghan skipper is one of the most experienced batsmen in the team.

The Afghan skipper is one of the most experienced batsmen in the team.

MOHAMMAD SHAHZAD

Afghanistan’s version of MS Dhoni, Mohammad Shahzad has been the heartbeat of the side during their remarkable rise in world cricket.

The 30-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman has five centuries to his name in limited-overs international cricket (four in ODIs and one in T20Is) and packs a punch with the bat.

While his reputation as a limited-overs batsman is fearsome, Shahzad is no mug when it comes to first-class cricket. The Afghan averages over 55 in 20 first-class matches and has registered four tons in the format including a highest score of 214 not out.

Shahzad has been the linchpin for Afghanistan' batting for some years.

Shahzad had led Afghanistan’ batting for years.

MOHAMMAD NABI

The 33-year-old is the most experienced man in the Afghanistan squad when it comes to international cricket with 98 ODIs, 63 T20Is and 32 first-class matches under his belt.

While his off-spin will definitely be handy in the Test, Nabi has it in him to make a valuable contribution with the bat too.

He will be tasked with propelling Afghanistan’s middle-order in the Test and has shown that he has the aptitude for red-ball cricket with two centuries in the first-class format.

Nabi is equally adept with both bat and ball.

Nabi is equally adept with both bat and ball.

IHSANULLAH JANAT

Ihsanullah might be one of the youngest faces in the batting line-up but in his short career so far, he has shown enough potential.

The 20-year-old has played only 10 ODIs so far for Afghanistan but it is his performances in the longer format that have caught the eye.

Averaging over 50 runs in first-class cricket, Ihsanullah has registered one century and three half-centuries in nine innings so far in the format.

Last year, he starred in a 197-run stand for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah to lead Afghanistan to a victory over UAE in the final of the Intercontinental Cup at Abu Dhabi.

The youngster (C) has shown plenty of potential already.

Janat (centre) has shown plenty of potential.

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