Dawid Malan revels in his player of the match display for England in T20 series victory over South Africa after finding it ‘really hard’ on a slow wicket at his old home ground
Dawid Malan admitted he found the triumphant return to his old home ground tough-going on Sunday after adding to his burgeoning Twenty20 reputation with a player of the match performance in England’s series clinching four-wicket victory over South Africa.
‘I found it really hard,’ said Malan after his ninth score of 50 or more in his 18 Twenty20 internationals guided England past South Africa’s 146 for six with a ball to spare.
‘I had absolutely zero local knowledge because the wicket played so differently to what I was used to here. It was slow and difficult to time the ball.’
Dawid Malan with the player of the match trophy after steering England to a four-wicket win
Malan, 33, was born in Middlesex but grew up here in Paarl before making his life and career in the land of his birth. And his only regret was that his parents were not allowed in the ground to see his 55 off 40 balls.
‘It would have been great to get a crowd in and to have my family here,’ said Malan. ‘But my old high school coach was one of the guys throwing the balls back today when they went over the boundary so at least there was someone I knew.’
Malan, who is not in England’s Test or even 50-over plans, has had to convince his old Middlesex team-mate Morgan of his worth to this England side, even attracting criticism from the captain when he made a century against New Zealand in Napier last year.
Dawid Malan swings and hits another boundary during his excellent innings for England
Malan made 55 off 40 balls as England chased their victory target of 147 in Paarl
But Morgan was given another close-up view of Malan’s quality in a match-winning stand of 51 between the pair in conditions not conducive to exciting stroke-play.
‘You can talk about coaches or selectors but he decides who plays for his team and he’s the one that matters,’ said Malan of Morgan.
‘I really enjoy batting with Eoin. My strengths are his weaknesses and vice-versa and if they shut him down it opens it up for me.’
Malan marks his half-century with England captain Eoin Morgan but fell for 55 not long after
Morgan (right)and Chris Jordan steered England over the line as they secured another win
The second of three T20 internationals was played out against the scenic background of Paarl