The historic victory over England in the one-off one-day international in Edinburgh is a massive statement from Scottish cricket, says Calum MacLeod.
The former Durham and Warwickshire batsman starred with an unbeaten 140 as the Saltires claimed the biggest result in their history by beating England, who went into the game ranked number one in the world.
It is barely three months since they were at a low ebb after seeing their World Cup dreams dashed by bad weather and an umpiring call, rubbing salt into the wounds after the ICC decided to cut the number of participating nations at next year’s tournament.
Scotland went into the game against England with a point to prove, and sealed a famous win in dramatic fashion, posting 371 before successfully defending the total in the penultimate over of the match and emerging triumphant by just six runs.
MacLeod admitted the win would go down as one of the best for the team.
“I reckon it is up there,” he said. “This win has been coming for a couple of years since Grant (Bradburn) and Kyle (Coetzer) took over and pushed the aggressive cricket you saw.
“We showed we were capable of this last year against Sri Lanka and then to take the step up to beat a full England side, number one-ranked in the world, is a massive statement from Scottish cricket.
“It does not take away what happened in Zimbabwe and everyone’s feelings about the 10-team World Cup but this was a special day.”
He added: “We want more games. That is the bigger shop window rather than personal side of it.
“If the ICC and other international teams look at this game they will see we are not an add on. This should be a catalyst for more games.
“Anyone here or watching could see the energy from the crowd and what passion there is for cricket up here.”
England looked to be in the box seat to chase down a record score of 371 after getting past 100 without losing a wicket inside the first 10 overs, and Jonny Bairstow’s 54-ball century - his third in a row in ODI cricket - looked as though it had broken the back of the chase.
However the middle order faltered and despite a late fightback from Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett, they fell agonisingly short to give them a reality check just a year out from the World Cup, for which they are favourites.
“We didn’t play anywhere near to our best,” admitted skipper Eoin Morgan.
“We were miles off where we expect to be and didn’t do enough to win
“The way we played, we didn’t deserve to win it.
“We might have scraped past them and won, but there were still quite a few mistakes made that we need to rectify and learn from ahead of the Australia series.
“We didn’t do enough to win, if we had won it would have been a bonus from where we were.
“We were just not good enough today and we will have to learn from this.”