‘Crazy’ Sunday afternoon for Scotland

Safyaan Sharif celebrates after bowling the winning ball against England. Picture courtesy of Cricket Scotland/Donald MacLeod.
Safyaan Sharif celebrates after bowling the winning ball against England. Picture courtesy of Cricket Scotland/Donald MacLeod.

Buckhaven’s Safyaan Sharif has barely had time to float down from cloud nine and come to terms with the history he and his team mates made at the Grange on Sunday afternoon.

Sharif was part of a Cricket Scotland side which proved just how far the country has progressed by beating an England team ranked number one in the one day international rankings for the first time by just six runs.

The Grange was a total sell out as the Scottish support anticipated an upset, while even the most casual fan was gripped by the action on Sky Sports.

Scotland won by just six runs in the end after posting the English a target of 371-5 they just couldn’t haul back.

In a nail biting finale, it looked as though Mark Wood could do enough to sneak a win for England until he went LBW by Sharif to spark incredible celebrations.

“It was a great feeling to get the win over England and it probably still hasn’t sunk in yet,” said the Buckhaven cricketer.

“Cricket Scotland have been playing some good cricket over the past two years and to beat the number one team shows how much we’ve improved.

“The Grange was packed and you could see what it meant to all of the supporters - it was crazy.”

But the win was no fluke, Scotland setting England a target they’d have to record their highest ODI chase to beat.

It sent a pretty clear message to the ICC after they were roundly criticised for reducing the teams in next year’s World Cup in England Wales from 14 to 10 - making it more difficult for the Scots and other associate nations to qualify.

“From ball one we put down a marker,” said Sharif, a former Falkland Cricket Club captain now with Glenrothes.

“We wanted to prove that we weren’t just there to make up the numbers and show how good a side we are.

“Getting to 371 against England did that.

“We want to be competing with teams like England and Pakistan (who Scotland were due to meet on Tuesday as we were going to press).

“Not making the World Cup was disappointing, but we needed to put that to one side and show our talent.”