The historic victory over England in the one-off one-day international in Edinburgh is a massive statement from Scottish cricket, says Calum MacLeod.
The former Durham and Warwickshire batsman starred with an unbeaten 140 as the Saltires claimed the biggest result in their history by beating England, who went into the game ranked number one in the world.
It is barely three months since they were at a low ebb after seeing their 2019 World Cup dreams dashed by bad weather and an umpiring call, rubbing salt into the wounds after the ICC decided to cut the number of participating nations at next year’s tournament.
Scotland went into the game against England with a point to prove, and sealed a famous win in dramatic fashion, posting 371 before successfully defending the total in the penultimate over of the match and emerging triumphant by just six runs.
MacLeod admitted the win would go down as one of the best for the team.
“I reckon it is up there,” he said. “This win has been coming for a couple of years since Grant (Bradburn) and Kyle (Coetzer) took over and pushed the aggressive cricket you saw.
“We showed we were capable of this last year against Sri Lanka and then to take the step up to beat a full England side, number one-ranked in the world, is a massive statement from Scottish cricket.
“It does not take away what happened in Zimbabwe and everyone’s feelings about the 10-team World Cup but this was a special day.”
He added: “We want more games. That is the bigger shop window rather than personal side of it. If the ICC and other international teams look at this game they will see we are not an add on. This should be a catalyst for more games.
“Anyone here or watching could see the energy from the crowd and what passion there is for cricket up here.”
Scotland defeated England by six runs in the Edinburgh ODI on Sunday. They scored 371 for five before keeping their cool to secure victory against the No1 ODI side in the world. An Associate nation stunning the top ranked, and arguably the best, side in the world in a pulsating high-scoring ODI.
England will take a long time to recover from this stunning result. Granted they didn’t have star players Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes but even so the result will be difficult to digest.
But we are not talking about England losing. We are looking at Scotland’s win. A win that will soon become an interesting footnote in cricket’s history books because this is as far as Scotland can go. There is no World Cup for them to prove this isn’t a flash in the pan and that they can challenge the best in the world.
England got their way on cutting the World Cup to 10 teams.— Tim (@timwig) June 10, 2018
Scotland have exposed - again - the lie the WC is being cut because of a lack of competitive teams.
The ICC decided to restrict next year’s World Cup to a 10-team affair. No place for an ’emerging’ team producing a shock upset. Only familiar faces renewing their rivalries and having no time for any mismatch, which Scotland showed doesn’t have to be the case even if they had lost Sunday’s ODI.
Former Scotland captain Preston Mommsen captured the sentiment among teams lower down the pecking order perfectly.
“I don’t want to call it a World Cup because it isn’t. It is just a tournament with ten teams. It is like a Champions Trophy. Really nail it down. They cannot see the long-term benefits and gains in trying to be more inclusive to the other teams outside of your full member nations and the potential for growth that is there, they are not tapping that,” he was quoted as saying by Wisden India.
There will be no Scotland or Ireland at the 2019 World Cup in England. Two teams who have beaten the hosts in high-scoring ODIs – Ireland chasing down 328 during the 2011 World Cup and Scotland defeating the world No1 side in Edinburgh.
Whatever happens at the next World Cup, we will definitely not see a team out to prove the world wrong and demanding its fair share of the cricketing pie. The ‘others’ have already been shown their place. All the Scotlands of the world can do is make their presence known whenever the ‘main’ teams bother to show up.
AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING!— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) June 10, 2018
What a game. Well done Scotland. One ropey lbw call and some rain away from making the World Cup. This isn’t much consolation but it is some consolation.
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
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.