Scotland’s cricket hero Calum MacLeod believes the team’s historic victory over England in a One Day International yesterday in Stockbridge shows that they deserve to be at the top table of the world game.
With the ODI World Cup next year in Eng;and having been tapered back to just 10 teams Scotland will not be there, but results like this show they should be.
MacLeod smashed an amazing 140 not out as Scotland made 371-5 in their 50 overs batting first at The Grange.
The Scots’ bowlers then battled back in England’s reply, Safyaan Sharif claiming the final wicket as the hosts won by six runs.
It will go down as Scotland’ greatest cricketing triumph and MacLeod said: “Our case for [playing the top nations] has been there for years, but this result can only help that case a lot.
“As a Scotland team we have to take these opportunities and we did just that. Over the last year or so we have looked at the key moments in games and really learned to take them.
“We don’t want to be plucky Scottish losers, we are now bold enough and brave enough to go and win these games.
“I think anyone who was at this game or watched it on Sky knows just what this team is all about now and that can’t be ignored.”
Scotland’s opening pair of Matt Cross and Kyle Coetzer really set the tone for the rest of the home side’s innings. They put on 103 runs together before skipper Coetzer was the first man out for 58 off 49 balls, being caught behind off the bowling of Adil Rashid in the 14th over.
Wicketkeeper Cross was then out soon after for 48.
The innings could have stuttered at that stage, but MacLeod and Richie Berrington continued where the opening duo had left off, progressing to a very useful platform of 160-2 from 25 overs.
MacLeod then reached his 50 with a sweetly struck six and Berrington was the third man out for 39, being caught by Joe Root off Liam Plunkett’s bowling.
At that point Scotland were 200-3 with just more than 20 overs remaining and hard-hitting left hander George Munsey was next to the crease.
He got off the mark with a trademark reverse sweep for four and, alongside MacLeod who kept moving along majestically, they took things to 227-3 with 15 overs remaining.
Munsey was out for 55 and when MacLeod reached his seventh ODI hundred the crowd rose as one to salute him. He went on to make 140 not out off just 94 balls, including 16 fours and three sixes, as Scotland posted 371-5.
England’s openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow were hitting big from the outset of the reply.
Spinner Mark Watt did make the breakthrough in the 13th over, taking a neat caught and bowled to dismiss Roy for 34. However, Bairstow continued on his merry way and reached a top quality 100 off just 54 balls, including 12 fours and six sixes.
Munsey took a great catch to dismiss Bairstow for 105 before Alex Hales and Joe Root took up the mantle. They took things on to 229 before Root was needlessly run out for 29 and what followed gave the home side renewed hope.
Captain Eoin Morgan, Hales, Sam Billings and David Willey were all out between the 31st and 37th over to leave England creaking on 276-7.
Ali Evans (2), Watt and Berrington were the men in the wickets and the game was in the balance with England needing 72 from 10 overs.
Moeen Ali was then out with the score on 347 and England still needed 24 with four overs remaining.
Rashid was run out in the 49th over by Sharif and then four balls later he had Mark Wood trapped LBW to spark celebrations.