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 No 1 in the world.
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, No 1-ranked in the world, is a massive statement from Scottish cricket.Calum MacLeod
It is barely three months since they were at a low ebb after seeing their 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, No 1-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.”
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 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 MacLeod to the crease and he 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.
Joe Root was run out, while David Willey and Sam Billings also fell cheaply as the visitors slipped to 276-7, 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.
“We didn’t play anywhere near to our best,” admitted England captain Morgan. “We were miles off where we expect to be and didn’t do enough to win
“The way we played, we didn’t deserve to win it. We might have scraped past them and won, but there were still quite a few mistakes made that we need to rectify and learn from ahead of the Australia series. We didn’t do enough to win, if we had won it would have been a bonus from where we were.”
Roston Chase ripped through Sri Lanka to propel the West Indies to a 226-run win in the first Test at Port of Spain.
The Barbadian seamer took four wickets for 15 runs from eight overs as the hosts powered to victory.
Devendra Bishoo claimed 3-48, while Shannon Gabriel took two wickets as the West Indies skittled Sri Lanka 226 all out.
Kusal Mendis could only turn his overnight 96 into 102.