Dawid Malan creates history in T20Is, yet commits statistical blunder in England’s cleansweep

Dawid Malan has had a brilliant start to his Twenty20 International career. In his first five games, he smashed four fifties against South Africa and Australia. The England left-hander, born in South Africa, reached his peak when he smashed 103* against New Zealand in Napier in 2019. In the ongoing series against South Africa, Dawid Malan smashed 19, 55 and a magnificent unbeaten 99 as England whitewashed South Africa 3-0 in the recently concluded Twenty20 International series. Dawid Malan, during the course of the South Africa series, achieved a high which few batsmen have attained during their international playing career.

Following the end of the South Africa series, Dawid Malan reached 915 points, the first to cross the 900-point mark after Australian Aaron Finch’s achievement in July 2018. Malan now enjoys a 44-point lead over Pakistan’s Babar Azam, whom he overtook to become number one in September this year. According to the ICC release, Dawid Malan’s feats helped England leapfrog Australia to take top position in the latest ICC T20I team rankings. Yet, he missed out on the chance to score two hundreds in T20Is. The simple reason – He forgot to do the basic math.

England, who had started the series at 271 points, are now level with Australia at 275 points but ahead on decimal points. South Africa and New Zealand retain their fifth and sixth positions while the West Indies have slipped behind Afghanistan to 10th place after losing 2-0 to New Zealand in another series.

Brilliance from Malan

In the final Twenty20 International, South Africa chose to bat and they were dealt a couple of early blows when Chris Jordan dismissed Quinton de Kock while Ben Stokes got the wickets of Temba Bavuma and Reesa Hendricks. However, Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis continued their good form.

Du Plessis, who had hit a fifty in the previous match, shared a 127-run stand for the fourth wicket. Van der Dussen smashed 74 off 32 balls with five fours and five sixes while du Plessis hit a fifty as South Africa reached 191/3. In response, Jason Roy started with a four and six but he fell to Anrich Nortje as his poor form continued.

Dawid Malan started like a train and he hit two fours off Nortje as well as a six off Lutho Sipamla. After Malan managed to overturn the LBW decision, he and Jos Buttler combined to go after the South Africa bowling. Buttler hit two sixes and a four off Sipamla in the 11th over while Malan hit two sixes and a four off Tabraiz Shamsi. Malan continued to get the better of Shamsi as he hit two sixes and a four again in the 15th over. The game was put beyind South Africa as Malan crashed a six and a four to get the scores level. However, he chose to finish the match with a single and thus, he remained stranded on 99.

In the post-match presentation, Malan acknowledged that he did not know about the hundred. “I honestly should’ve known about the hundred, I did, but I went for the single either way. MAYBE I should go back to math class,” Malan said.

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