Jaskaran Malhotra hit 15 runs from five balls in the last over of the match to help the USA seal a dramatic Cricket World Cup League Two Laserbook tri-series win over Scotland on Wednesday.
The Scots went into the clash at Aberdeenshire’s Mannofield ground having won twice over the UAE and once over the USA in the last week, but they could not make it four from four here.
For large parts of the day in the Granite City it looked like they would keep their 100 percent record alive, but Malhotra, batting at number seven, had other ideas.
His side were 235-8 going into the final over of the ‘second half’ needing 250 to get past Scotland’s 249-8.
He hit a six off Safyaan Sharif from the first ball of the final over, then there was a dot ball before he hit a four.
That left the visitors needing five from three balls and when Malhotra got the tiniest bit of bat on the ball to deflect it past wicketkeeper Matthew Cross and then hit a single his side had won.
He finished on 36 not out off 25 balls and skipper Cross and his charges were left to rue one that got away.
“We tried our best with the ball, but we perhaps didn’t create enough chances early on in their innings to get them a couple of wickets down,” Cross said.
“Having said that, we fought all the way through and went right to the end and maybe if things had gone our way then we would have got the win.
“I obviously back our bowlers and I thought we were doing the right things there [at the death], but he [Malhotra] has hit a couple of clean shots, we have made a couple of mistakes in the field and ultimately we have come out on the wrong side of things, but I am proud of the effort my boys put in during this game and throughout the series.
“As an Aberdeen boy it was great to have games up here and the groundsman did a fantastic job preparing good pitches, especially given how dry it has been recently.”
Earlier in the day Calum MacLeod made a brilliant 133 not out for Scotland.
It was his 10th One Day International century and he is now up over 3,000 runs in this format having scored 403 in the last week.
And this knock was very much needed after the Scots had slumped to 31-4 batting first.
MacLeod then rebuilt things with a 42 run fifth wicket partnership with Chris Greaves (14) before a 92 run sixth wicket partnership with Michael Leask.
When Leask was out for 41 in the 36th over Scotland were 165-6 and although the USA bowlers bowled pretty well from there up to the 50th over Scotland got up to 249-8.
Scotland bowled reasonably well early on in the USA reply and the Americans were 149-4 when Ian Holland fell at the start of the 37th over.
The hosts should have been able to put the squeeze on then, but 62 from Aaron Jones and then the late salvo from Malhotra meant it was not to be.
“I thought Calum’s innings was outstanding,” Cross said as MacLeod was named player of the match in defeat.
Next up for Scotland’s men is the T20 World Cup in Australia which starts in October, but closer to home the women’s national team have matches coming up against a Fairbreak XI and then Ireland soon.
Cricket Scotland would like to thank everybody at Aberdeenshire Cricket Club for their hard work over the last week.