Maths lesson for topper Dawid Malan
England’s Dawid Malan joked that he “needs to go back to maths class” after missing out on a hundred by one run after a superb knock against South Africa in the final T20I on Monday.
The left-hander thumped an unbeaten 99 from 47 balls, stitching together an unbroken 167 with Jos Buttler (67 not out off 46) in just 85 deliveries, as England reached their target of 192 in 17.4 overs to seal a 3-0 series sweep and move to top of the rankings.
Malan hit the match-winning run on 98 and says he worried how turning down a single would look after captain Eoin Morgan voiced his displeasure at the batsman not running off the last ball last year in order to preserve his not out after completing a hundred against New Zealand.
“I knew there were five (balls of the over) left but I don’t know how it was going to go down if I turned down a single,” said Malan, the No. 1-ranked T20I batsman in the world.
“I knew I had to hit two sixes (to convert his 88) to win the game and get a hundred, I got a six and a four so I guess I didn’t calculate that too well. I need to go back to maths class.”
Malan’s innings — which contained 11 fours and five sixes — followed his 55 in Sunday’s second T20I and he has now passed fifty in 10 of his 19 T20I innings for England since debuting in the format against South Africa in Cardiff in 2017.
Malan has notched up the highest-ever rating for a batsman in T20I rankings after topping the scoring charts against South Africa, the ICC said on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old has reached 915 points, the first player to cross the 900-point mark in the format. Australia’s Aaron Finch posted exactly 900 points in July 2018.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain praised Malan for his versatile style and consistency.
“On difficult pitches he grinds out a score while when you need to up the run rate and you can’t be using up deliveries on dot balls in the Powerplay he doesn’t — he just goes out and smashes it,” Hussain told Sky Sports.
“He never overhits. It’s classy batting, it is not power, it is just timing. At times he makes it look effortless.”