England romps to 3-0 T20 series win over South Africa

Malan’s 99 came from just 47 balls and made a difficult run chase look like a breeze as England overhauled South Africa’s 191-3 with more than two overs to spare.
England's Dawid Malan in action.(REUTERS)
England's Dawid Malan in action.(REUTERS)
Published on Dec 02, 2020 02:43 PM IST
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Cape Town | ByAssociated Press

England swept the Twenty20 series against South Africa 3-0 with a blistering 99 not out from Dawid Malan seeing the tourists romp to a nine-wicket win in the final game in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Malan’s 99 came from just 47 balls and made a difficult run chase look like a breeze as England overhauled South Africa’s 191-3 with more than two overs to spare.

England finished on 192-1 in 17.4 overs, with Malan and Jos Buttler (67 not out) sharing an unbroken partnership of 167 for the second wicket to take England charging home at Newlands. It was England’s highest partnership in T20s and the eighth-highest of all time.

The only disappointment was Malan missing out on a second T20 international century, which he could have got if he’d hit what turned out to be the last ball of the game for a boundary. Instead, with him on 98 and England needing one to win, he took a single out on the off side and then appeared to realize his error.

England had plenty of deliveries left and Malan would have been forgiven for taking his time to ensure he got his hundred.

Malan hit 11 fours and five sixes and South Africa had no answer to the world’s top-ranked T20 batsman, or to Buttler, who clobbered his 67 from 46 balls. The victory was England’s most convincing of the series.

South Africa appeared in good position to take something from the series when Faf du Plessis (52 not out) and Rassie van der Dussen (74 not out) put on 127 for the fourth wicket. Their stand resurrected South Africa from 64-3 and set up what was a challenging target until Malan and Buttler took the South African bowling apart.

England has won seven of its last eight T20 series and last lost a series in 2018 against India. This tour of South Africa was organized on short notice to fill gaps left in both teams’ schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it further boosted England’s confidence and provided vital preparation ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.

England and South Africa will also play three one-day internationals on this tour. England is the reigning 50-over world champion.

All of the games on are being played in Cape Town or the nearby city of Paarl to limit travel by players and officials during the pandemic.

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