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Malan, Paterson help England clinch T20 series against South Africa

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It was a day for the newcomers to take centre stage as Dawid Malan scored a quickfire 78 on debut for England and Dane Paterson claimed career best figures of 4/32, after twice being on a hat trick, for the Standard Bank Proteas before England won the final T20 International by 19 runs at Cardiff on Sunday and claimed the series 2-1.

Proteas legend Shaun Pollock described Paterson’s death bowling when he took 2/8 in his last two overs as the best death bowling he had seen from a Protea in 10 years. Praise doesn’t come higher than that.

Malan laid the platform for England before Paterson closed things down at the end to keep the target required manageable.

But it still needed one of the Proteas big guns, AB de Villiers or David Miller, to match the Malan show. De Villiers briefly threatened when he hit leg spinner, Mason Crane, for 4, 6, 6 off successive balls but it was not to be as the Protea captain was caught on the boundary in the same over.

There was some late defiance from Mangaliso Mosehle (36 off 22 balls, 1 four and 4 sixes) and Andile Phehlukwayo (27 not out off 20 balls, 4 fours) but by then the required run rate had soared too high.

Malan played a virtuoso debut innings to set England up for a total well in excess of 200. That they were in the end restricted to a par total of 180 was due to another superb death bowling performance by Paterson who returned career best figures of 4/32 with a spell of 2/8 (3 scoring strokes) in his final two overs which included a final over that saw him on a hat trick for the second time in the match and conceded only two runs.

If this T20 Series has done one thing for the Proteas it is to unearth a top quality death bowler for both limited overs formats of the game. Andile Phehlukwayo has also made important strides and his two death overs were a lot better than his figures indicate.

With De Villiers have used his two attacking bowlers, Morne Morkel and Chris Morris, to attempt to get rid of Malan when he started to do serious damage there was once again enormous pressure put on the two newcomers to handle the back end of the innings.

And how well they did it!

When Malan was dismissed at 127/3 in 13.3 overs England must have been looking at a total in the region of 220. Yet they were only able to score 54/5 off the remaining 39 balls to bring the Proteas right back into the game.

Malan, coming in at No. 3, gave early intention of his intent when he slogged the second ball he faces from Morris into the crowd at square leg. Thereafter, he played a pretty flawless innings, showed both great temperament and skill. His ability to hit the ball into gaps regardless of how the field was set was a standout feature of his innings, finishing up with 78 off 44 balls (12 fours and 2 sixes) before he fell to Imran Tahir, who came into the Proteas side in the place of Tabraiz Shamsi in the only change to the side that had won at Taunton on Friday evening.

The extent to which Malan dominated his stay at the crease was that he scored 68 percent of the team total while he was at the crease (78 out of 114) which is quite remarkable for this format when both batsmen are normally going full tilt. His total was more than twice the second best contribution to England’s total (Alex Hales with 36).

Also remarkable is the fact that he has had to wait so long for his debut. He turns 30 in September but he will certainly play a lot more games in the years ahead.