Scotland Men's national team members celebrate after the fall of England's Alex Hales's wicket at Grange Cricket Club in Edinburgh - Image by Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland (Twitter)

History has been made at the Grange Cricket Club ground in Edinburgh, where Scotland Men’s cricket team members have played the most riveting 98.5 overs of their cricketing career’s so far as they beat the ICC ODI ranked #1 nation, England, in an absolute thriller by 6 runs.

It is by far the best result in Scotland Cricket’s history ever, as their batsmen and bowlers held their own against a strong English batting and bowling line-up. While the batting was led by the magnificent century by Calum Macleod, who remained unbeaten on 140 at the end of Scotland’s total of 371/5 in their 50 overs, Mark Watt & the rest of the bowlers picked up wickets at crucial junctures of the game, when it looked very much going towards England’s way at various points during the match.

In any given day, if you have a centurion along with two fifties and couple of 30’s/40’s from the top 5 of the batting line-up, it usually amounts to a good total on board. And that is what happened with Scotland as captain Kyle Coetzer (58) led from the start with good contributions from fellow opener, Matthew Cross (48). Macleod took over the proceedings along with Ritchie Berrington (39) and George Munsey (55) to propel Scotland way past 350 in the end. For England, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett picked up couple of wickets.

Macleod once again showed his class after a similar onslaught against Afghanistan earlier in Mar 2018 in ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe as he took apart the English bowling attack en-route to his 7th ODI century off only 70 deliveries, the fastest Scotland ton scored ever in an ODI match.

Scotland survived Jonny Bairstow’s 54-ball century (got out on 105 eventually, his 3rd consecutive ODI century), Alex Hales’s 52, Liam Plunkett’s 47 n.o and Moeen Ali’s 46 runs to hold their nerve in the final 5 overs of their bowling innings. Alasdair Evans (2/50) and Ritchie Berrington (2/67) picked up couple of wickets but the impact bowler for the day was Mark Watt, who accounted for Jason Roy, Sam Billings and Moeen Ali to finish with 3/55 off his 10 overs.

A timely reminder that Associates need to be part of ICC’s plans for 2023 Cricket World Cup after the 2019 edition was trimmed down to 10-team event from the 14-team event held in 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia & New Zealand. Scotland now face T20I #1 ranked Pakistan in two T20I’s and will be brimming with confidence to get good results in those matches as well.

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