Kyle Coetzer shines in Scots’ first ODI win over Test nation

Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer celebrates his century. Picture: Donald MacLeod
Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer celebrates his century. Picture: Donald MacLeod
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Scotland were celebrating last night after surging to their first ever official ODI triumph over a top-tier nation.

Skipper Kyle Coetzer’s stunning century paved the way for the 27-run success against Zimbabwe at the Grange.

Now Coetzer and Co will turn their focus to making it a double when the sides clash again in the capital tomorrow.

The captain’s heroics – backed up by sparkling 50s by Craig Wallace and Michael Leask – propelled the Scots to 317 for six in their 50 overs.

They then excelled in the field with a five-wicket haul for Con de Lange and two remarkable run-outs to make sure the visitors were never in the hunt.

Zimbabwe were all out for 272 as they chased a rain-reduced target of 299 off 43.

Michael Leask set the tone by getting rid of Hamilton Masakadza with a pinpoint throw from midwicket to keeper Matthew Cross.

Cross was back in the spotlight to safely take the catch when Craig Ervine top-edged Chris Sole straight up in the air. And Scotland took total control as Safyaan Sharif pouched Solomon Mire in the deep to make it 97 for three.

Sikander Raja was then stranded out of his crease by a rocket return from Richie 
Berrington.

After the rain interruption, de Lange kept up the momentum by clean bowling Ryan Burl behind his legs to make it 125 for five.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and Berrington ruled out a late Zimbabwean rally by dismissing big-hitter Sean Williams for 70.

De Lange quickly struck again to dispose of Peter Moor before removing skipper Graeme Cremer lbw. His fourth scalp left Zimbabwe needing 106 from ten overs.

They refused to buckle and a breezy and battling 92 from Malcolm Waller set up a tension-packed finale. His spree left the visitors needing 38 from 18 balls, but Scotland held their nerve. De Lange prompting Waller to lob a catch to Sole just inside the rope and Sole made sure by holding a steepler off Sharif.

Coetzersaid the historic triumph was “absolutely huge”.

He added: “Things got a bit tense in the closing stages, but I backed the guys fully.

“I had total confidence in them and now I am over the moon – not just for the team, but for everyone in the Cricket Scotland set-up.

“It is an absolutely huge result for the sport north of the border, especially so soon after we beat Sri Lanka in an unofficial ODI in London. To beat two Test countries in the space of a month is just fantastic.

“We knew at the start of the season that this stage of the summer would be our focal point. The matches earlier in the week against Namibia were big in terms of the World Cricket League, however facing the bigger sides was always going to be very significant.”