Australia’s Shaun Marsh insisted a 200-run win over an outclassed Scotland side in Edinburgh on Tuesday had been a “worthwhile” exercise ahead of the five-match ODI series with England.
While England were tested by Ireland on Tuesday before completing a six-wicket win in Malahide ahead of tomorrow’s series opener in Leeds, Australia were utterly dominant against a largely amateur Scotland side.
Marsh made 151 and Aaron Finch 148 — his maiden ODI century — as the duo shared an Australian record 246 for the first wicket in a huge total of 362-3.
Victoria batsman Finch’s latest hundred followed his Twenty20 world record 156 against England at Southampton last week.
The total was the highest Scotland had ever conceded at this level, with Finch’s runs coming off just 116 balls with 16 fours and seven sixes before he holed out off spinner Majid Haq.
Marsh, whose father Geoff helped set the previous Australian first-wicket record of 212 together with David Boon against India at Jaipur in 1986, was slightly more sedate. He faced 149 balls and hit 16 fours and five sixes.
However, Marsh insisted: “It wasn’t easy out there. It was a tricky wicket, they bowled well and I had to work hard.”
“It was definitely a worthwhile exercise — 100 percent. The boys got time out in the middle, the bowlers bowled well and it was a great spectacle. It’s great to come up to a lovely place like Edinburgh,” Marsh said.
“The boys have really enjoyed it,” he said as Australia now look to complete their first series win over England in any format on this tour after losing the Ashes 3-0 and sharing the subsequent Twenty20s 1-1.
Australia also dominated Scotland with the ball, left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson taking 4-36.
It was not what Scotland needed ahead of two matches away to Ireland this weekend, with the Scots needing to win both Belfast clashes if they are to retain any hope of automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“We have got to look beyond this match and accept the result,” Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said. “We can still take a lot of confidence into the Irish games.”
“We need some perspective on this match. We are still an associate cricketing nation and Ireland are too. The two games over there are our main focus and count for more,” he said.
“That is the real acid test for us to see exactly where we are. They have been nudging ahead in recent years but we still believe we are strong enough to take them down,” Mommsen said.