CARDIFF, United Kingdom: Dawid Malan became England’s top-scoring Twenty20 international debutant as they beat South Africa by 19 runs at Cardiff on Sunday to seal a 2-1 series win despite resting regular captain Eoin Morgan.
Malan, playing in place of fellow Middlesex left-hander Morgan, made 78 in a total of 181 of eight after England were sent into bat by South Africa captain AB de Villiers.
South Africa then collapsed to 86 for five, with leg-spinner Mason Crane taking the prize scalp of De Villiers (35) for his first wicket at this level.
They rarely threatened England’s total, despite some big-hitting late on from Mangaliso Mosehle (36) and Andile Phehlukwayo (27 not out).
The Proteas’ fate was effectively sealed when Tom Curran, in just his second match at this level, conceded just seven runs off the penultimate over on his way to two for 22.
Malan’s impressive 44-ball innings featuring 12 fours and two sixes surpassed the 46 made by Paul Collingwood in England’s very first match at this level — a 100-run win over Australia at Southampton in 2005. “I didn’t think this day would ever come so it was nice to get the opportunity to show what I can do,” said the 29-year-old Malan.
England stand-in skipper Jos Buttler added: “Dawid batted on a different wicket to the rest of us.”
Meanwhile, De Villiers was left to rue some sloppy fielding.
“In the field we lost 20 runs and we lost (the match) by 19,” he said. “We let it slip there.”
Alex Hales and Malan shared a second-wicket stand of 105 in 10.3 overs. But from 166 for three, England lost their next five wickets for 14 runs.
Dane Paterson, who was twice on a hat-trick, led South Africa’s attack with four for 32. — AFP