England beat Scotland and the weather

10 May

From Photos: Donald MacLeod, Copy: Kaylan Geekie

Scotland lost the Royal London one-day international against England in a rain affected match by 39 runs in Aberdeen yesterday. 

This ended the home team's seven match unbeaten run going back to defeat against Hong Kong back in January during the World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand.

That the match was played at all is testament to the Mannofield ground staff. After more than half the match was lost to persistent rainfall it got underway at four o'clock, several hours after the scheduled start. 

To the delight of the crowd, home favourite Kyle Coetzer, won the toss and chose to field. England set Scotland a revised Duckworth/Lewis total of 173 to win from 20 overs, at just under nine runs per over.

A large total in testing conditions, yes. Impossible? No. Scotland needed to get out of the blocks quickly and put England under pressure for any chance of staging an upset. 

Despite two wonderful knocks from Matt Machan and Michael Leask, the top order  struggled with the pace and bounce of Jimmy Anderson and Harry Gurney and never recovered. 

Leask hit a swashbuckling 42 off 16 balls, including five sixes, in a Man-of-the-match performance and was described by Coetzer as an "exceptional talent". 

Machan scored a brisk 33 and looked at ease at the crease, particularly square of the wicket. The 23-year-old countered England's initial blows with some wonderful stroke play off the back and front foot before falling victim to Ravi Bopara. 

Michael Leask Leask had taken a liking to James Tredwell, dispatching him out the ground on numerous occasions but the spinner got his revenge. 

He had the 23-year-old caught by Anderson, effectively ending Scotland's hopes of an unlikely win, finishing with figures of 4/41. 

Scotland's attack was blunted by Alistair Cook and Ian Bell's opening stand of 83. Bell went for a well played 50, bowled by Rob Taylor, attempting to flick the ball on the leg side. 

Taylor struck again when Cook, attempting to drive him for a maximum, was out to a stunning catch by Calum Macleod, diving full stretch to the roar of the partisan crowd for 44. 

Josh Davey claimed three wickets in the last three overs but could not stem the flow of runs from England and particularly, Eoin Morgan, who scored a quick fire 31.

Scotland's out fielding was exceptional; Taylor taking two excellent catches in the deep in wet conditions, was the standout. 

England's innings closed on 167/6 but was revised because of a rain interruption midway through their innings. 

Though Scotland lost, they produced a respectable performance and showed that they can compete against a higher calibre of opposition. 

Speaking after the match, Coetzer said: "We tried our best but it wasn't meant to be." 

He might be right but the team's recent success has come in 50 over cricket  not Twenty20 but, had it not been for Mother Nature, today might have proved different. 

Scotland can be proud of their effort. The abundance of youth with potential playing well in big games, will stand the team in good stead. With the match in Christchurch on the horizon, this experience is crucial. Onwards and upwards. 

View other news from May 2014

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