Dawid Malan leads England to T20I series win over South Africa

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

England claimed the NatWest International Twenty20 Series with a 19-run victory over South Africa in Cardiff.

With Tom Curran taking another two wickets and Mason Crane snaring the great AB de Villiers as his first global victim, England beat South Africa by 19 runs at Cardiff.

The 29-year-old left-hander Malan, who was born in London and brought up in South Africa, blasted 78 from 44 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes as England, whose captain Eoin Morgan was rested, made 181 for eight.

As Malan trudged back to the gloriously named Discover Leeks Pavilion to a standing ovation, England appeared set for a sizeable total, sitting at 127 for three midway through the 14th over.

The next World Cup takes place in England in two years' time and de Villiers, in charge for a heartbreaking 2015 semi-final loss to co-hosts New Zealand in Auckland, said on Sunday: "It's my main dream to win a World Cup for South Africa, or to be part of it in one way or another".

Eoin Morgan's decision to play young Liam Livingstone ahead of him in a series decider drew criticism from many quarters.

Following their dismissal, it was the pair of Mangaliso Mosehle and Andile Phehlukwayo, who gave South Africa an unexpected hope, as both the batsmen played some good cricket from thereon, providing late fightback. Jordan returned to pick up two more wickets as South Africa made just nine runs from 16 balls and were left 91-6, just halfway to their target with only 38 balls remaining.

JJ Smuts and AB De Villiers looked to rebuild as the former survived what looked to be a feint edge behind when he was only on eight.

Morgan was replaced as skipper by Jos Buttler, who explained the thinking behind the selections.

"Mason Crane, for a 20-year-old, has got great character".

It was an underwhelming effort that saw South Africa manage 162 for seven after Mosehle (36) and Phehlukwayo (27 not out) knocked a few boundaries towards the end but the asking rate had already ballooned to an unobtainable level.

"It is a fantastic experience to play for your country and to contribute in a win like that on debut is fantastic", he said.

"At the start of the series we knew that there were going to be players missing out - Joe Root and Ben Stokes were missing". Tom Curran impressed at Taunton and was beginning another excellent spell when he took the wicket of Reeza Hendricks without scoring. It was a pretty good score, tough to score when they bowled their variations.

"We couldn't get him in today", said Morgan. I mentioned on commentary the individual skills of the players, they've expressed themselves.

"They fielded pretty well and saved about 10, so there's a 30-run swing there".

But de Villiers, whose stunning 31-ball century against the West Indies at Johannesburg in 2015 remains the fastest ODI hundred, added: "I don't even think it's in my hands, what is going to happen".

"I love playing worldwide cricket, but unfortunately that is the case today".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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