5 biggest upsets by Associate nations in ODIs
The 10th of June in 2018 will forever be entrenched in Scottish sporting history. After all, it's not often that they can boast of victory against their southern neighbours. In a high-scoring encounter at the Grange Cricket Club on Sunday, Scotland registered a stirring six-run win against the top-ranked England team.
More pertinently, their thrilling triumph has come at a time when the International Cricket Council (ICC) is facing major scrutiny over their contentious decision to convert the 2019 World Cup into a ten-team event. While untimely rain and the governing body's shortsightedness may have denied them a place in the premier 50-over tournament, Scotland showed commendable fortitude to vanquish a prominent Full Member.
The landmark tussle in Edinburgh was one of the several instances of giant-killing acts from the Associate nations. In reverse chronological order, here are five of the biggest upsets in ODI history. Significance of the result as well as relative strength of the two teams have been accorded more value whilst enumerating those extraordinary matches.
#5 Scotland vs England (2018)
On what was a benign surface designed to facilitate shot-making, England won the toss and surprisingly chose to bowl first. With the shorter boundaries further aggravating the bowlers' woes, Scotland's openers took the visiting seamers to the cleaners.
Coming in at 103/1, Calum MacLeod consolidated his team's position by punishing even the slightest errors in length. The right-hander's unbeaten 140 enabled the hosts to set a daunting target for their power-packed opponents. The sheer audacity with which he employed the sweep shot never allowed Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali to settle into their spells.
England began their pursuit of 372 on the back of Jonny Bairstow's remorseless hitting. Even as the fearless Yorkshireman tore the Scottish seamers to shreds, the rest of the top-order rallied around. However, the batting lineup's soft underbelly resulted in a catastrophic middle-order collapse. Despite the end overs exploits of Moeen and Liam Plunkett, Scotland held their nerve to complete an indelible triumph.
Brief Scores: Scotland - 371/5 (Calum MacLeod 140*, Kyle Coetzer 58, George Munsey 55); England - 365 from 48.5 overs ( Jonny Bairstow 105, Mark Watt 3/55, Alasdair Evans 2/50)
Result: Scotland won by 6 runs