ESPNcricinfo Awards

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2018 Associate batting nominees: toppling England, and nearly upsetting India

Players happy to toy with big reputations feature prominently in our list

Calum MacLeod punches through the off side, Scotland v England, Only ODI, Edinburgh, June 10, 2018

The century against England was Calum MacLeod's fourth score of 140 or over in ODIs  •  Getty Images

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Karan KC
42 not out v Canada
WCL Division Two, Windhoek

A spot at the World Cup Qualifier was up for grabs for the winner of the last round-robin match at Division Two in Namibia. It looked certain to be Canada's when Nikhil Dutta took the ninth Nepal wicket with 51 runs needed off the final 47 balls. But never has a tail wagged as defiantly as Karan KC's. Nepal needed eight in the final over but Karan couldn't get a run off the first four balls. Off the fifth, he drove Cecil Pervez over extra cover for a six. A wide followed and then Karan swatted a full toss through midwicket to clinch Nepal's most famous victory.
Calum MacLeod
157 not out v Afghanistan
World Cup Qualifier, Bulawayo

Pre-tournament favourites Afghanistan were in for a rude awakening on the opening day at the World Cup Qualifier. Scotland fell to 21 for 2 in the sixth over chasing a target of 256 and faced an uphill battle against an attack featuring the No. 1 ODI bowler in legspinning phenom Rashid Khan. But MacLeod roasted Rashid and fellow spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi with a go-to sweep shot early and often. Three hours later, MacLeod had raised his third career 150+ ODI score - something only a dozen others have accomplished - to seal a stunning win.
Calum MacLeod
140 not out v England
only ODI, Edinburgh

If dominating the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler wasn't a big enough notch on his belt, MacLeod set about taking on the No. 1 ranked ODI team a few months later. And how. His smouldering sweeps off Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid paved the way to a century off 70 balls. He kept motoring along to push Scotland to 371 for 5, the highest total by an Associate against a Full Member. His innings laid the foundation for Scotland's first win over England, and the first win by an Associate over a No. 1 ranked team.
George Munsey
71 v Netherlands
T20I tri-series, Amstelveen

In making the highest T20I score by an Associate batsman in 2018, Munsey catapulted Scotland 32 runs clear of their previous best in T20Is on the way to securing the tri-series title over hosts Netherlands and Ireland. Munsey pulverised the Dutch bowling unit at a strike rate of over 200 and was on track to obliterate Scotland's T20I individual high score of 100 by Richie Berrington when he fell attempting one of his trademark reverse sweeps, in the 13th over. His efforts still helped Scotland win by 115 runs - their biggest margin of victory by runs in T20Is.
Nizakat Khan
92 v India
Asia Cup, Dubai

Few expected Hong Kong to qualify for the Asia Cup given their failure at the World Cup Qualifier. Even fewer expected them to put up much of a fight against India two days after they were handed an eight-wicket defeat by Pakistan. But Nizakat produced a fight that nearly resulted in a colossal upset. Riding his luck after edging the first ball of the chase through slips for four, Nizakat cracked six more boundaries in the Powerplay on his way to a 45-ball fifty, part of a 174-run opening stand, before running out of steam on a hot night in the desert.
Click here for the Associate bowling shortlist

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna