But as they showed by getting so close to Scotland's mammoth total of 376, they boast great batting depth and regularly post scores in excess of 300.
For Scotland, the disappointment of missing out on a spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 couldn't have been papered over by the win over England, but as Calum MacLeod, their star of the win with a 94-ball 140*, said, "this was a special day; it is up to us now to build on it".
That should take nothing away from a Scotland side still bristling from their desperately unlucky failure to qualify for the World Cup and eager to prove they belong at cricket's top table.
David Willey bowled his full ten overs for the first time in ODI cricket for almost two years despite Cricviz data showing he has swung the ball less on only two previous occasions in his England career.
None more so than MacLeod, 29, who was simply superb in racing to three figures off 70 balls to become the first Scot to score a hundred against England and inspire his side to their highest score in any 50-over global.
The 29-year-old MacLeod previously played for Warwickshire and Durham, finishing as their top scorer in Twenty20 cricket in 2014 with 358 runs at an average of 44.75, while he has spent the early part of 2018 in Hampshire's second XI.
The visitors, playing their first one-day game of the season, were given a hurricane start by Jonny Bairstow who hit a brilliant 105 to become the first Englishman to post three successive ODI centuries.
Alasdair Evans of Scotland takes the wicket of David Willy.
"We showed we were capable of this past year against Sri Lanka and then to take the step up to beat a full England side, number one-ranked in the world, is a massive statement from Scottish cricket".
Ali's 46 threatened to spare England's blushes only for the all-rounder to be undone by a slower delivery from left-arm spinner Mark Watt.
And to think this was meant to be a warm-up.
Adil Rashid discusses a "wake-up call" defeat to Scotland, sledging and previews England's ODI series against Australia in his first Sky Sports column... It can not possibly be any tougher than this.