Rugby hero David Sole bowled over watching son beat the Auld Enemy

Chris Sole bowls during the One Day International match between Scotland and England at The Grange. Picture:  Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Chris Sole bowls during the One Day International match between Scotland and England at The Grange. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
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As his country’s captain leading Scotland in the legendary 1990 grand slam decider against England, David Sole was famously cool, psyching out his southern opponents by casually strolling on to the hallowed turf of Murrayfield.

That masterstroke of gamesmanship, and the epic 13-7 victory which followed, have gone down in folklore as one of the defining moments in Scottish sport.

David Sole

David Sole

But as a father watching his son Chris, 24, take on the Auld Enemy on Sunday in what turned out to be another epic defeat of the English, their first ever in cricket, the 56-year-old former sportsman has admitted that this time, very far from being Captain Cool, he was in fact a bag of nerves.

Sitting with wife Jane and family at The Grange on Sunday, and sporting an arresting blue and white saltire blazer, David was just yards away from the boundary watching as England inched their way agonisingly towards overhauling a seemingly unassailable 371 run target laid down by son Chris and his Scotland teammates in the One Day International.

With just six balls left, Scottish bowler Safyaan Sharif managed to trap the last English batsman Mark Wood leg before wicket, and the greatest victory in the history of Scottish cricket was sealed.

And Mr Sole Snr has revealed that the winning moment saved him from enduring an even more personal heart-in-the-mouth last few minutes to the sensational match.

The former Bath and British Lions prop forward said: “Chris told us he was due to bowl the last over of the match and he would have been up next had we not bowled out England the way we did.

“He was buzzing, he was up for it, he was ready to take it on, I was buzzing too but I was terrified, but it was great to know that he was ready to step up to the task in that moment, it was proper edge-of-the-seat stuff.”

The Sole connection with cricket is strong, with David having played it ‘as a diversion’ from rugby while a student at Glenalmond.

Bowler Chris made his full international debut for the Scottish cricket team in 2016 and his younger brother and all-rounder Tom, 21, added to the family’s impressive international honours tally by debuting for Scotland last year.

Chis and Tom’s siblings Jamie and Gemma are no sporting slouches either, and play at the highest level with Jamie following in dad’s footsteps in professional rugby, and Gemma having represented Scotland at netball.

All were on hand yesterday to take in the momentous occasion.

David said: “Unfortunately Tom had an ankle injury so he wasn’t playing yesterday but that meant he could join the rest of the family watching.

“It really was a fantastic game of cricket, irrespective of which team you were supporting. To see a game where 371 runs is very nearly chased down, with the game ebbing and flowing both ways throughout, is extraordinary and I am just thrilled Chris was part of it.

“England really put the pressure on in the closing stages but Scotland rose to it. .”“Chris and the rest of the Scotland team gave me an early Father’s Day present which I won’t forget.”