The South African senior national men’s cricket team, the Proteas, suffered another defeat in Cardiff on Sunday to surrender the three-match T-20 International series to the hosts.
After coming from a match down to level the scores at one-all in the second match, there was all to play for as both teams desperately wanted to win the last match to clinch the series on a 2-1 scoreline.
After winning the toss and opting to chase the target by putting England to bat first, the Proteas were never really in the game. The dismissal of captain AB de Villiers with just 35runs on the board left the team in trouble at 82 for the loss of four wickets.
AB had played with a lot of promise punishing Mason Crane with two sixes and a four before the English spinner claimed his first international wicket when the Proteas skipper was caught in the deep by Alex Hales. SA could only manage 162 runs for the loss of seven wickets, 19runs short of England’s 181 for eight.
But surely the highlight of the match was Dawid Malan who blasted 78runs off 44deliveries on his international debut. The 29year old left-hander, who grew up in SA, took full advantage of the absence of captain, Eoin Morgan, who was rested for the match.
So high was Malan’s confidence that he even had the tenacity to smash the second ball over the boundary for six.
“I didn’t think (the chance) would ever come but nice to show what I can do. It’s tough but you try and keep things in perspective and wait for an opportunity,” said Malan after the match.
The Proteas were without coach, Russell Domingo, who returned home after the first match to attend to some family matters.
The two countries will now shift their focus to a four-match test series starting at Lord’s on July 6.