Edinburgh - Scotland enjoyed the greatest victory in their cricket
history by holding their nerve to beat world number one-ranked England by six
runs in a thrilling one-day international at Edinburgh on Sunday.
Despite making a mammoth 371 for five, thanks mainly to
Calum MacLeod's brilliant 140 not out, Scotland were in danger of defeat as
England's Jonny Bairstow took advantage of a good pitch and short boundaries at
the Grange to make 105.
But a middle order collapse gave non-Test nation Scotland
England rallied again, thanks to a 71-run eighth-wicket
partnership between Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett.
But paceman Safyaan Sharif sealed Scotland's victory with
seven balls to spare when he had No 11 Mark Wood plumb lbw to spark a pitch
invasion by jubilant home fans.
Scotland's first win in international cricket over England
came in their first match since they were cruelly denied a place at next year's
World Cup after a poor umpiring decision and rain saw them miss out in their
final qualifier against the West Indies in Harare in March.
"I'm lost for words, I don't know what to say,"
Sharif told Sky Sports. "We've been waiting for this for so long. England
are a brilliant side but scoring 371 against them means the world."
The International Cricket Council's decision to shrink the
World Cup from 14 teams to 10 had already been heavily criticised long before
Scotland and their fellow associate or non-Test nations impressed with the
quality of their play in Zimbabwe.
Asked if Scotland had sent a message to the ICC with this
win, Sharif replied: "I'm not going to say anything - they've seen it all
This was an embarrassing reverse for 2019 World Cup hosts
England ahead of their upcoming five-match home ODI series against Australia
and a reminder of how Eoin Morgan's side have been undone in one-off games,
such as last year's Champions Trophy semi-final loss to eventual winners
Pakistan in Cardiff.
"(Scotland) are a very dangerous side, I thought they
played close to their best cricket today and we didn't," said Morgan.
"It's not the end of the world for us, it was a really
good run out and good to have a practice coming into the series against
Australia," he added ahead of a five-match campaign that gets underway at
The Oval on Wednesday.
Scotland's total was their highest at this level, surpassing
their 341 for nine against fellow non-Test nation Canada at Christchurch four
Bairstow set a record by becoming the first England batsman
to make three ODI centuries in successive innings but it was not enough to deny
Scotland saw captain Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross share a
century stand after Morgan won the toss.
But they lost both openers in quick succession to be 107 for
MacLeod, however, ensured a promising start was not wasted
and together with George Munsey (55) put on 107 for the fourth wicket.
The 29-year-old former Durham batsman went to a hundred off
just 70 balls, his seventh at this level and the first by any Scotland batsman
Jason Roy and Bairstow launched England's reply with a
century stand but Bairstow holed out when he might have won the game.
Test skipper Joe Root was carelessly run out and England
then lost Morgan and Alex Hales off successive deliveries to be 245 for five.
Ali's 46 threatened to spare England's blushes only for the
all-rounder to be undone by a slower delivery from left-arm spinner Mark Watt.
Victory completed a notable double over England for the Sole
David Sole, the captain of the Scotland rugby union side
that beat England at Edinburgh's Murrayfield in 1990 to win a Grand Slam in the
old Five Nations, was among the Grange crowd to watch his son Chris, one of
Scotland's new-ball bowlers.