- England defeated South Africa by 19 runs
- England won the series 2-1
- England move up to No.2 in the world ranking
Hosts England clinched the final match of the three-match T20 series against South Africa by 19 runs to win the series 2-1 in Cardiff. Debutant Dawid Malan struck an exhilarating 78 to ensure that an experimental England side won the series decider. Followed by a professional shutout by the bowlers, England won without any hiccups.
Batting first Malan, the fourth England debutant in the series, contributed a classy 78 to help his new team cope with the absence of their captain, Eoin Morgan, and take the three-match series 2-1. Malan’s 44-ball innings was a record score by an England debutant in the shortest format that, along with 31 from Jos Buttler, took them to 181 for eight. Malan dominated from the beginning as he and partner Alex Hales put on a 105 run stand from 10 overs. An onslaught by Buttler which saw him crunch two huge sixes saw England put up a target of 182 for the Proteas.
The English bowling unit ensured that they had the South African batsmen on a leash throughout the match. Mason Crane, back in the side after making his debut in Southampton, survived an early assault at the hands of AB de Villiers to eventually pick up the prized wicket of one of the best batsmen in the world. He was always the one to get after, but he stuck to his guns. Well played to him”, De Villiers said after the match. Chris Jordan’s three for 31 and two for 22 from Tom Curran on his second appearance then helped derail the chase, with South Africa stuttering throughout the chase. A few lusty swings from Phehlukwayo were not enough as South Africa fell short by 19 runs to hand the series over to England.
Had England failed to win, they would have been criticized for their decision to rotate to the extent they did. But with impressive performances over the series from the likes of Malan, Crane, Bairstow and Tom Curran, England will feel it was a worthwhile experiment as they look to make the transition from T20s to tests. England now take on South Africa in a test series in England.