Malan paces chase to perfection as England clinch T20 series

By Rob Lancaster 30 November 2020 4
Malan paces chase to perfection as England clinch T20 series

England wrapped up victory in the Twenty20 series against South Africa with a game to spare in Paarl thanks to a second successive last-over triumph.

Having overhauled the Proteas' total of 179-6 with four balls in hand in Friday's opener in Cape Town, England managed to reach a target of 147 from the penultimate delivery on Sunday.

A slow, low surface made batting difficult for both teams, though Dawid Malan played a crucial knock of 55 from 40 deliveries in the successful chase as England earned a four-wicket win.

The left-hander hit a six and seven fours as he overcame a sluggish start - he managed just 25 runs from his first 30 balls - to perfectly pick up the pace in the closing overs, putting on 51 for the fifth wicket with Eoin Morgan.

Lungi Ngidi (2-51) dismissed Malan courtesy of a stunning catch by Reeza Hendricks on the boundary, though England still managed 18 from that 18th over, leaving them with a simple requirement at the finish.

Chris Jordan struck the winning blow off Kagiso Rabada as captain Morgan finished unbeaten on 26, able to celebrate a 30th T20 victory during his time in charge of the team.

Tabraiz Shamsi claimed 3-25 for South Africa on a pitch that helped the spinners, Adil Rashid having picked up 2-24 earlier as England restricted their hosts to 146-6.

Rashid dismissed Hendricks and Faf du Plessis with successive deliveries – the latter stumped for the first time at international level in the format - to become only the fourth man to reach 50 T20 wickets for England.

There was also a notable milestone for team-mate Jordan too, as Quinton de Kock (30) became his 65th wicket in T20 internationals, putting him joint-top on England's all-time list, alongside Stuart Broad.

George Linde made a lively 29 off 20 balls but South Africa struggled to break the shackles. They will aim to avoid suffering a 3-0 series sweep when the teams meet again for the third and final game on Tuesday.

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