England produced another dominant performance in the third and final T20 international against South Africa on Tuesday to sweep the series 3-0 at the Newlands stadium in Cape Town.
Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan’s record partnership helped England make light work of the 192-run target, which they reached in the 18th over of the match.
Malan ended up with 99 not out off 49 balls with 5 sixes and 11 boundaries while Buttler remained unbeaten on 65 off 43 with 5 sixes and 3 fours to lead the chase for England.
The duo registered a the highest second-wicket partnership in T20 internationals with their unbroken 167-run partnership with Malan ending up with the highest individual score by an English player against the Proteas.
“Great fun, a great run-chase on a used wicket that played better today. Mal’s consistency is phenomenal, the simplicity he bats with, very strong basics, and a lot of confidence and freedom. Some days you don’t feel you are hitting well and get one away, but a couple of boundaries early set up a brilliant innings,” Jos Buttler said after the match.
This was the second match in a row in which Malan starred with the bat for England after his 55 in the previous game which they won by 4 wickets at Paarl. They had won the series-opener by 5 wickets in Cape Town.
“His first innings was 70-odd v South Africa at Cardiff, and the key is simplicity, classical great cricket shots. There’s healthy competition, Dawid’s gone on when he’s played well, and it’s a nice side to come into.
“I’ve felt a little rusty, searching for something, but more relaxed today, decided to take some time and back my six-hitting. If I hit the next two for six I jump into a different position. Stay comfortable and calm, and when I get one, put it away. With left and right, you can always target the shorter side. It was time to come to the party,” Buttler added.
Malan and Buttler’s partnership overshadowed that of the one between Rassie van der Dussen and Faf du Plessis, who stitched 127 runs for the fourth-wicket for the Proteas to help them post a challenging 191 for 3 in 20 overs.
Rassie van der Dussen scored 74 not out off just 32 balls with 5 fours and as many sixes while du Plessis was unbeaten on 52 off 37 with 5 fours and 3 sixes. But their performances ended up in vain as England recorded the highest successful run chase at Newlands to register their third 3-0 series-sweep in T20 internationals.
Malan was adjudged Player of the Match and Series for his exploits with the bat in the 3 games.
“Very happy that the last two innings I wasn’t hitting as well as I’d like, but this time I really got some momentum. The wicket played really well and that was to my advantage.
“Jos started really, credit to him, but it was skidding really nicely onto the bat and it was a lot of fun to play. Jos didn’t start as quickly as he would have liked but I had the momentum and took the pressure off of him, and that ebbed and flowed over the course of the partnership,” Malan said after collecting both his awards.