Brilliant Scotland back up Calum MacLeod’s 140* to seal first-ever win over England

Scotland 371 for 5 (MacLeod 140*, Coetzer 58 Munsey 55) beat England 365 (Bairstow 105, Hales 52, Watt 3-55) by six runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

On the eve of Scotland’s fifth-ever ODI against England, coach Grant Bradburn talked about “hunting history”. Even though England arrived at the Grange as the top-ranked ODI side in the world, Bradburn said England had to lose to Scotland eventually, “so why not Sunday?”

Bradburn’s question was answered affirmatively, emphatically and dramatically in a six-run win. Through much of the day it was hard to tell which team held the No. 1 ranking. After losing the toss and being sent in, Scotland posted 371 for 5, the highest ODI total ever by an Associate country and the fourth-highest ever conceded by England. Calum MacLeod became the first Scotsman to score an ODI ton against England, finishing unbeaten on 140 just three months after carving up the world’s top limited-overs spinner, Rashid Khan, for an unbeaten 157 at the World Cup Qualifier.

It looked like England might overhaul it with ease during their Powerplay response as they rewrote a few pages in their own record books during a memorable run feast. Jonny Bairstow became the first Englishman to raise a century in three straight ODIs, dazzling the sellout crowd of 4600 with a 54-ball ton. But an inspired effort from spinner Mark Watt and medium-pacer Alasdair Evans brought Scotland back to life in the field, sparking a middle-overs collapse to see England fall from 220 for 2 in the 27th over to 365 all out.

The haymakers landed by Scotland in front of a global TV audience were a reminder about the folly of shrinking next year’s World Cup to ten teams at the precise moment in time when the quality and competitiveness of Associate teams against Full Members is at an all-time high. Looking far more relaxed in a rare match in which qualification or funding wasn’t at stake – just reputation – Scotland played with freedom to dominate the majority of proceedings.

Bradburn’s batsmen backed his bravado with a blistering broadside almost from ball one, blazing away to break all sorts of ODI benchmarks in the Bannockburn bilateral rivalry: best partnership versus England (broken twice in one match), best individual score versus England, best Scotland score against a Full Member, and when that wasn’t enough they went on to make the best ODI score by any Associate versus a Full Member. Indeed, Scotland were busy bees while England’s bowlers bled boundaries.

Scotland’s biggest ODI stand for any wicket against England was the first record of the day to fall, previously 86 between Gavin Hamilton and Kyle Coetzer in 2010. That went down inside of 13 overs thanks to the brisk start from captain Coetzer and Matthew Cross. The pair were especially belligerent against David Willey, who gave up the first boundary of the day to Cross cutting through point in the second over and proceeded to get a beating throughout the Powerplay, eventually ending the day with 0 for 72.

Adil Rashid eventually stopped the bleeding at 103, getting Coetzer to edge behind just a few balls after Coetzer had driven him for six over mid-off for the last blow in his 58, his third half-century against England in five matches. Cross fell in the next over to Liam Plunkett, also edging behind, putting England close to even for the first time since the toss at 107 for 2 in the 15th.

But from there England had few answers to stop the Saltire surge. Another 93-run stand followed between MacLeod and Richie Berrington. Just as MacLeod had done to Rashid Khan in Zimbabwe, he made excellent use of the sweep to England’s tweakers, slog-sweeping Moeen Ali over deep square leg for six to bring up a 37-ball fifty.

He continued to play with freedom to bring up Scotland’s first ever ton against England, doing it off 70 balls with a pinched two to mid-on a ball after his record-breaking 107-run stand with George Munsey had ended. Scotland’s best individual score versus England prior to that was 71 by Coetzer at the 2015 World Cup. By the time MacLeod finished, he had nearly doubled it, walking off unbeaten on 140 off 94 balls.

The Scots made history on this ground a year ago this week with a win over Zimbabwe, their first over a Full Member. On that day, they had made 317 on a beautiful batting track. They bettered that by 54, seizing upon the shorter boundaries which had been brought in to accommodate for all the space needed to set up Sky TV’s camera scaffolding.

Perhaps most remarkable of all was that Scotland achieved all these marks without ex-captain Preston Mommsen, omitted in favour of debutant Dylan Budge despite Mommsen making himself available for home internationals since coming out of his brief retirement last year. Also missing was Josh Davey, not even named in the squad after sitting out the World Cup Qualifier to preserve his place with Somerset. Scotland’s depth has never been better and it showed.

But in this British boundary bonanza, the Bairstow bazooka was buzzing even faster than Scotland’s batting brigade. The England opener entered the match coming off two straight ODI hundreds against New Zealand in March, the second of which was a 58-ball bashfest in Christchurch. He bettered that by four balls at the Grange, and for a brief period appeared on course to surpass Jos Buttler’s English record 46-ball ton against Pakistan in 2015.

Bairstow reached his half-century off 27 balls in the midst of a brutal beatdown of Michael Leask in the ninth over, bludgeoning his offspin for three sixes in the over. By the end of the Powerplay, England were 107 for 0, Bairstow on 75 off 35. But the wicket of Jason Roy, nudging a waist-high catch tamely back to left-arm spinner Watt in the 13th, broke England’s rhythm.

Evans followed with a maiden to new man Alex Hales in the 14th, before Bairstow reached triple-figures off 54 balls in Evans’ next over. He joined seven others with three straight tons (Kumar Sangakkara ran off four in a row during the 2015 World Cup) but fell at the end of the 18th for 105, driving Berrington’s gentle medium pace high to Munsey at long-off.

Joe Root and Hales forged a 55-run stand to keep the innings chugging along before Root was run out by Watt’s relay to Leask over the stumps to end the 27th. Scotland were on a team hat-trick a few overs later, Morgan miscuing Evans to Coetzer at midwicket before Hales loosely cut Berrington to Evans at backward point next ball.

At 245 for 5, the crowd began to believe that Bradburn’s prophetic question might end positively for Scotland. That grew stronger when Coetzer’s outstanding day in the field continued with a sharp low catch at midwicket off a low full toss from Watt to snare Sam Billings for 12. Evans had Willey caught behind in the next over to put England seven down.

Moeen appeared poised to take England over the line, but holed out to long-on against Watt to leave 25 off 27 balls for the tail to get. It became 11 off 12 balls with Plunkett batting brilliantly, but Rashid was run out from long-on coming back for a second to keep Plunkett on strike off the first ball of the 49th.

Safyaan Sharif, who starred in Scotland’s World Cup Qualifier campaign, then struck the decisive blow four balls later. Sharif trapped Mark Wood leg before on the toe with a yorker to spark a wild pitch invasion and ensure the Scotland fans among the 4600 in attendance would party long into the night.

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