Dawid Malan demonstrated the ability which will make him a key component in Yorkshire’s batting line-up next summer by smashing England’s fastest ever T20 international century this morning.
The White Rose’s new signing, only announced on Monday, amassed a sensational 103 not out off 51 balls, including a 48-ball ton, as England posted 241-3 against New Zealand in Napier.
He shared 182 for the third wicket with captain Eoin Morgan (91 off 41), the team’s highest ever T20 partnership.
The BlackCaps responded with 165 all out in a match which included 24 sixes, with Lancashire leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson also impressing for four wickets.
The five-match series is now tied at 2-2 ahead of Sunday’s series decider at Auckland’s Eden Park, another postage stamp venue which is likely to throw up more runs (1am UK).
Malan, named man-of-the-match after the 76-run victory, has now gone beyond 50 six times in his nine T20 international innings, and this was his first century.
The 32-year-old had dropped down to number three to accommodate the return of new county colleague Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order, who made eight.
“That was fun,” he said, having topped up previous series scores of 11, 39 and 55.
“There’s not many days in your career when every time you have a hack at one it lands safe or goes for six, especially with the short boundaries.
“I can’t describe how much fun it was. These days don’t come around very often – it’s as good as it gets.”
Malan, speaking to Sky Sports, continued: “In the first game, I felt really rusty. I didn’t feel like I had any rhythm, I was struggling to get my hands up at the right time. But every time I’ve hit balls, it’s felt smoother and smoother.
“I actually said to Paul Collingwood this morning, ‘It feels like I’ve got rid of the rust now’.
“That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to score runs, but I just felt I had the rhythm that I’ve been looking for in the first three games. Thankfully it clicked today, especially with these boundaries.
“It helps batting with Morgs. I’ve played a lot of cricket with him, and he helps you through some of those (tricky) periods.”
As aforementioned, Malan has only played nine T20 internationals, including four on this tour, which sees England without the likes of batting powerhouses Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Jason Roy and Ben Stokes, who have all been rested.
However, the left-hander has now given captain Morgan and coach Chris Silverwood food for thought as they head towards the T20 World Cup in Australia this time next year.
Morgan, Malan’s former Middlesex team-mate, added: “Dawid scoring a hundred, it’s absolutely brilliant. To see a guy, who has had limited opportunity, come in and make the most of it is exactly what you want to see.
“That strengthens our squad moving forward, and that’s ultimately what we wanted out of this tour.”
Watch Malan in next summer’s Vitality Blast!
Having signed for Yorkshire CCC earlier this week, Dawid Malan is set to make a big impact for the White Rose in the Specsavers County Championship and Vitality Blast next summer.
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