Alastair Cook reflects on England's victory over Scotland
Last Updated: 10/05/14 10:14am
England captain Alastair Cook admitted conditions in rain-drenched Aberdeen were 'borderline', but insisted it was the right decision for the One-day international with Scotland to go ahead.
A half-century from Ian Bell and an ODI career-best 4-41 for off-spinner James Tredwell helped England to a 39-run victory over Scotland.
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Cook knows he, opposite number Kyle Coetzer and the umpires might easily have called time on a fixture which got under way five-and-a-half hours late and was then beset by even more rain, which reduced it to a Twenty20 format.
But after England had begun their new era under Cook and returning coach Peter Moores with a win, the visiting captain insisted everyone involved deserved congratulations for ensuring a sell-out crowd finally got to watch some cricket.
"Those were borderline conditions to play in," he said. "But just in a one-off game, with not so much riding on it, I think it was the
"I think it would have been wrong if we hadn't - and credit to both sides for just getting on with it."
Cook might easily have left the field earlier than he did during a particularly heavy downpour, but stayed put after he and Bell (50) had shared an opening stand of 83.
"Those conditions are as wet as I have ever fielded in," he added. "It probably wasn't fit to play, if you are being totally honest.
"I was in standing water at mid off, and there were other patches like that. But both sides just got on with it.
"I thought the way Scotland fielded, especially in those conditions, was exceptional."
England came through unscathed and with an opening victory to start a summer in which they need to put their miserable Ashes winter behind them as quickly as possible.
"I don't think it was dangerous, no - but it was pretty close to it," said Cook.
"It was very wet for the bowlers running in, but we just about had enough grip to do it. People still threw themselves around in the field."
A short discussion with the umpires while Cook was batting brought the initial outcome that the players remained in the middle.
"We were asking 'How wet does it have to get?' I was actually going to ask for a towel to dry my grip, because I couldn't grip my bat.
"It looked like it was going to stop (raining), but we knew how dangerous it would be and that we might not get back on (in time).
"When the umps came and said 'Look, it's going to take a lot longer to mop up properly - but do you want to just get on with it?' Kyle and his team said 'yes'."
Those conditions are as wet as I have ever fielded in. It probably wasn't fit to play, if you are being totally honest. I was in standing water at mid off, and there were other patches like that. But both sides just got on with it.
England fell foul later of local boy Michael Leask, whose 16-ball innings of 42 kept Scotland hopes alive in pursuit of a Duckworth-Lewis target of 173.
"He was dangerous, wasn't he?" said Cook. "The only people who timed the ball were he and Belly, and they did it beautifully.
"He [Leask] has got a lovely swing of the bat - and when he hit it, it stayed hit.
"It was quite hard to keep getting after 'Tricky Treds' - he keeps pulling it back a little bit, even when the ball was extremely wet and he wasn't getting much grip on it at all.
"But he [Leask] was dangerous, and that's what Twenty20 cricket is about. One guy can win a game.
"It would have needed him to get 80 or 90 to do it ... but while he was still in, it was definitely a possibility."
Leask himself added: "I'm quite a confident person when I go into bat. I know I can hit the ball quite cleanly...and if I am straight I usually connect quite well."