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South Africa v England: Dawid Malan leads tourists to series win


Dawid Malan is the top-ranked batsman in T20 internationals
Second Twenty20, Boland Park, Paarl
South Africa 146-6 (20 overs): De Kock 30 (18), Rashid 2-23
England 148-6 (19.5 overs): Malan 55 (40), Shamsi 3-19
England won by four wickets; lead series 2-0

Dawid Malan helped England edge to a four-wicket win over South Africa in the second Twenty20 to wrap up the series with a game to spare.

Malan’s 55 from 40 balls led England’s recovery from 83-4 as they chased 147 for victory, following spinner Tabraiz Shamsi’s career-best 3-19 in Paarl.

He fell with 13 runs needed but Eoin Morgan marshalled his side over the line with one ball remaining.

South Africa had earlier limped to 146-6 from their 20 overs.

Malan, the top-ranked batsman in T20 internationals, paced himself well, hitting seven fours and one six to take England’s target down to a run a ball.

The Proteas seemed to have the match in their grasp at the halfway stage but they once again fell short in the key moments.

The third and final match of the series takes place on Tuesday at 16:00 GMT in Cape Town.

England win but Roy questions remain

A tight victory on a slow pitch – which England are likely to see much of in India during the next T20 World Cup – bodes well for Morgan’s side.

Malan, as he often does, began slowly, moving to 19 from 21 balls before he and Morgan hit out. Both players attacked pace bowler Anrich Nortje, with Morgan slicing him down the ground for six before Malan hit him for back-to-back boundaries.

His half-century from 39 balls was brought up with a classy, straight six but his dismissal off the next delivery could have left England in trouble.

Instead, Morgan went on the attack, ramping Kagiso Rabada for consecutive fours in the 17th over to take England’s target down to a run a ball.

Despite the win, there are still questions over England’s top order, particularly the form of Jason Roy. Roy has had a difficult time with white-ball cricket this year – he missed both T20 series against Pakistan and Australia with a side strain and his highest score in six home one-day internationals was 24 against Ireland at the very start of the summer.

He put in a frenetic performance in Paarl. Starting against spin is a weakness in his game and he looked lost against opening bowler Linde, seemingly playing three shots to each delivery.

Roy was offered a reprieve on seven after reviewing an lbw decision against the superb Nortje, but he could not make it count, eventually thrashing Lungi Ngidi high into the air and down to Heinrich Klaasen.

Shamsi benefited on a pitch that proved difficult to hit out on. The spinner bowled Jos Buttler, who was dropped on five, through a gap between bat and pad, before having Jonny Bairstow caught at deep mid-wicket and inducing an outside edge from a Ben Stokes slog sweep that was caught by Quinton de Kock.

Nortje, too, was excellent with his extra pace but South Africa will rue letting another match seemingly slip from their grasp.

More to follow

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