Second X1 Round-Up: Great Scot!

Second X1 Round-Up: Great Scot!

Calum MacLeod has been in sparkling form for Durham and Scotland in recent weeks

The second team's exploits have had a particularly Scottish feel to them in recent weeks, with Calum MacLeod to the fore.

In the final few days of April, Alastair Maiden's side played Scotland 'A' in a series of limited overs games at Durham University's Racecourse ground.

More recently, Glasgow-born trialist MacLeod has been in fine form for the second string, culminating in a match-winning century against Yorkshire.

MacLeod and fellow Scot Gavin Main played for their country at the Racecourse, but the pair couldn't prevent Durham from recording an 11 run win, which was largely inspired by a breezy 70 from Graham Clark.

Usman Arshad, who played in the opening two first team championship matches, was the pick of the bowlers with 3-15. In a losing cause, MacLeod underlined his limited overs potential with a rapid 49 from just 27 balls.

Despite only being at Durham a few weeks, the former Warwickshire man admitted playing against his county teammates felt a bit strange.

"Yeah it was a little bit" MacLeod told durhamccc.co.uk "I've been getting to know the guys down here so it was a bit different knowing that I'd be playing for them again the next week"

"In some ways it was probably quite helpful as well, because you start to get an understanding of what the guys bowl and what their plans will be"

Asked if any of his friends at Durham had taken the opportunity to indulge in some sledging, MacLeod revealed that the players had been surprisingly quiet.

"I thought a couple of them might have had a couple of words with me, but it was all fairly pleasant actually!"

The following day, Durham again emerged victorious as Mark Wood ripped through the Scottish line-up with stunning figures of 5-20 from 10 overs. Chasing 156 to win, the hosts were teetering at 95-8, but a masterful unbeaten 76 from Gordon Muchall secured a thrilling one wicket win.

Looking for revenge, the men from north of the border appeared to be on the brink of a comprehensive win in the third match, with MacLeod again contributing with 43. Responding to Scotland A's 253, Durham were 108-9 when the rain arrived and forced the players off.

"It was called a draw, but we'll say we won!" joked MacLeod.

A strong Derbyshire side then hosted the second team in a couple of T20 friendly games at Glossop, and a half-century from Steven Moore helped the home side post over 200. Despite a 61 from MacLeod and an unbeaten 56 from Muchall, the visitors fell just short of their victory target.

Derbyshire completed a more resounding victory in the second match, with Durham bowled out for less than one hundred.

The team quickly bounced back though by completing a double over Yorkshire in the first Group A matches of the Second XI T20 competition.

A magnificent century from MacLeod secured a seven wicket win in the first match, before the same man then joined forces with Clark to see Durham through to a six wicket success in the second fixture.

The all-rounder remains on trial with the county champions, and his recent performances have impressed the coaching staff.

"I'm hoping to be involved in the Twenty20 period for the second team and see where that leads on - if I can manage to perform well enough then we'll see where we're at"

"I'm really enjoying it so far, the guys have been fantastic, they've made me feel very welcome" said MacLeod, who hit five sixes in his innings against Yorkshire.

"It's been a good few weeks, and nice to get a few runs as well. If I was being truly greedy, I'm a little bit disappointed I hadn't kicked on and got a big score until the Yorkshire game"

MacLeod, who is currently staying with Michael Richardson during his trial period, travelled up to Scotland after the wins over Yorkshire to prepare for his country's one-day International with England this Friday.

"I'm absolutely buzzing for it" said the 25 year old.

"Any game against England for a Scottish sportsman is always a big occasion, and hopefully we'll be able to go up to Aberdeen and put on a show"

"Obviously they're the favourites and quite rightly so, but I suppose their last game was against Holland and they'll have memories of that, and I'm sure there will be a few early nerves kicking around if we can start well"

"Hopefully we can manage to pull off a win"

The second team are next in action on Monday in a T20 game with Lancashire at Emirates Durham ICG (11am start)

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