Dawid Malan, currently the world’s top-ranked T20I batsman, continued his glorious run of form to help England complete a clean sweep in the T20I series against South Africa, but missed out on his century by a run, seemingly due to a slight miscalculation.
Batting on 98, with England needing a run to win in 15 balls, Malan gently played the ball towards cover for a single, only to later realise that England were now over the line and a chance to score his second T20I hundred had passed.
Highest batting averages in men’s T20I cricket (min. 500 runs):
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 1, 2020
When asked about missing out on a century after the match, Malan said that he didn’t want to turn down the opportunity of a single, hinting that captain Eoin Morgan’s criticism from last year, when he failed to run a bye off the final delivery of the innings in a T20I against New Zealand to remain unbeaten, possibly played a part in it.
“I knew there were five (balls in the over) left but I don’t know how it was going to go down if I turned down a single,” said Malan in the post-match presentation, before adding that there was a bit of miscalculation from his part involved as well.
“I knew I had to hit two sixes (when on 88) to win the game and get a hundred, I got a six and a four so I guess I didn’t calculate that too well. I need to go back to maths class.”
The 47-ball-99 was Malan’s second consecutive half-century of the series, and his 10th 50+ score in 19 T20Is. The 3-0 series win over the Proteas helped England move atop the T20I team rankings; they are now the top-ranked side in both the limited-overs formats.