Dawid Malan says his record 48-ball hundred in England’s series-levelling fourth T20I win was "very special" and "as good as it gets".
Malan (103no) scored England’s fastest-ever century in T20 cricket as the tourists hammered New Zealand by 76 runs, setting up a series decider in the final game in Auckland on Sunday.
Malan now has six scores of fifty or more in his nine international T20 appearances, averaging 57.25, as he presses his claim for a place in England’s T20 World Cup squad in October 2020.
Very special, Malan told Sky Sports Cricket. It’s not very often you have days like that in your career where, every time you have a hack at one, it lands safe or goes for six.
I can’t describe how much fun it was out there. It was as good as it gets.
In the first game, I felt really rusty, I didn’t feel like I had any rhythm, then with every time I have hit balls, it has felt smoother and smoother.
I said to Colly [Paul Collingwood] this morning after I hit a few, ‘it feels like I’ve got rid of the rust now’.
That doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to score runs or anything, but it just felt like I had the rhythm I’d been looking for in the first two or three games. I’m so thankful that it clicked today.
It helps batting with Morgs [Eoin Morgan] as well. I’ve played a lot of cricket with him – he helps you through some of those periods.
These days don’t come around often, so it’s so enjoyable when they do come around. To do it on the biggest stage is a fantastic experience.
Malan and Morgan shared in a massive 182-run partnership for the third wicket, with the England captain himself getting close to a hundred before falling for a 41-ball 91 in the final over of the innings.
Malan said the way the skipper led from the front helped not only with his batting form but showed the way for the team following back-to-back losses in the series.
Morgs came out and took the initiative straight away, added Malan. We’d had a decent start but, on this ground and with the way the wicket was playing, we were probably a little slow, myself included.
Morgs changed the momentum of the game; I sort of piggy-backed on him a little bit early on. It allowed me to get a couple of loose balls, with the bowlers under pressure, and I was fortunate enough to capitalise on that.
Morgan: Sunday decider set to be an epic
Morgan picked Malan for praise at the post-match presentation, while the England captain is keen for his inexperienced England squad to build on such a convincing win in Sunday’s series-decider in Auckland.
I’m absolutely over the moon, said Morgan. I thought it was quite a clinical performance, given that we had to win tonight, in order to go to Auckland with the chance of winning the series.
Obviously Malan scoring a hundred today is absolutely brilliant. To see a guy who has had a limited amount of opportunities come in, and make the most of it, is exactly what you want to see.
That strengthens our squad and our depth moving forward. That’s ultimately what we want from this tour.
Myself and Dawid have played for a long time together at Middlesex and know each other’s games pretty well, so everything was quite calm out there, very enjoyable and lots of laughs. We managed to make the most of a beautiful wicket.
Sunday lines up to be an epic game.
Watch the fifth T20I decider between New Zealand and England in Auckland, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12.30am on Sunday.