Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Scotland batsman Calum MacLeod put on a show against England in the one-off ODI in Edinburgh as he smashed an unbeaten 140 to not only lead his side to a nail-biting six-run win, but also their first-ever victory over England.
What made the win all the more special was the fact that England came into the match as the top-ranked ODI team in the world.
Being put in to bat first, Scotland got off to a scorching start as captain Kyle Coetzer and wicketkeeper Matthew Cross forged a 103-run partnership in a little more than 13 overs.
Coetzer surpassed his fifty during the stand he and Cross put together, but shortly after reaching the milestone, he was caught behind off the bowling of Adil Rashid for 58, which came off 49 balls and included eight boundaries and two sixes.
Cross ended up falling in the next over as he was caught behind off the bowling of Liam Plunkett for 48.
Having lost their openers in quick succession, MacLeod and Richie Berrington stabilised the innings with a 93-run partnership before Berrington was caught by Joe Root at mid-off off the bowling of Plunkett for 39.
MacLeod and George Munsey upped the ante and kept the runs flowing with a 107-run stand before Munsey was caught by Mark Wood at short fine leg off the bowling of Rashid for 55, which came off 51 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.
MacLeod continued to take the attack to England during his 53-run partnership with debutant Dylan Budge, who scored 11 before being clean bowled by Wood.
Scotland ended up finishing on 371/5, which is the highest score by an Associate nation in ODI cricket, thanks to MacLeod’s unbeaten 140, which came off 94 deliveries and included 16 boundaries and three sixes.
Rashid and Plunkett picked up two wickets apiece, while Wood chipped in with one.
Chasing 372 to win, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy ensured England made a fast and furious start to their innings as they amassed a 129-run partnership in slightly under 13 overs before Roy was caught and bowled by Mark Watt for 34.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Bairstow continued to cause Scotland problems as he was scoring at a rapid rate. He even proceeded to bring up his century off just 54 balls, making it the third-fastest by an England batsman in ODI cricket.
But, not long after reaching the triple-figure mark, Berrington provided the pivotal breakthrough Scotland needed as he removed Bairstow for 105, which came off 59 balls and included 12 boundaries and six sixes.
However, Bairstow made history with his hundred as he became the first England batsman to score three ODI centuries in a row. His other two came against New Zealand in March.
Alex Hales and Root steadied the ship with a 55-run partnership before Root was run out by Watt for 29.
England captain Eoin Morgan fell shortly after on the final ball of the 31st over.
On the first ball of the 32nd over, Berrington took out Hales, who was caught by Alasdair Evans at point for 52, which came off 56 balls and included three boundaries and three sixes.
With Sam Billings and David Willey departing not long after, Scotland were within touching distance of a massive win.
However, Moeen Ali and Plunkett kept England in contention as they put together a 71-run stand.
With England back on track, Watt halted their charge as he sent Moeen packing for a 33-ball 46.
Rashid only made five runs before being run out by MacLeod.
Five balls later, Scotland etched their names into the record books as Safyaan Sharif trapped Wood lbw for one run to ensure Scotland escaped with a narrow six-run win.
Plunkett was left stranded on a 45-ball 47, which included three boundaries and two sixes.
Watt was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Evans and Berrington took two wickets apiece. As for Sharif, he claimed one wicket.
Morgan was gutted to have lost, and said: “I thought they played close to their best cricket and we didn’t. Full credit to Scotland, bringing your best game for a one-off game is hard to do. Don’t think it’s the worst thing for us…a couple of mistakes. We got rewards for our shots which brought us close, but not close enough. I think we were a little bit rusty, missed our lines a bit, we only got together yesterday. I think we’ll be better for the run out.
“The level of expectation around the team has been quite high for a while, so we’ve managed to deal with that pretty well. If it is a problem it’s something we’ll have to address but don’t think it is. It’s a difficult summer ahead for us, but it was a good run out. I don’t think we are far away, against a strong Australia they’ll be extremely difficult to beat.”
Coetzer was over the moon to have won, and said: “A hugely special day for us, our coach said we should make history and we’ve done that. Credit to Calum, that outstanding knock, and what an occasion it was. In the first Powerplay, wherever we moved the field [Bairstow] hit it somewhere else and I was basically hoping he would mishit one.
“I’m extremely proud, but it is a trait we are getting very good at. The last couple of years we have been very good with the ball. 371 plays 365 is outstanding. The bowlers found it hard, but great to be on this side of the fence.”
MacLeod was named Man of the Match.