An inspired innings from Twenty20 worldwide debutant Dawid Malan was underpinned by a tight bowling display as an experimental England side won the third and final match of the series in Cardiff.
Malan turns 30 at the start of September and has had to wait patiently for his opportunity in the global arena. It eventually fell short on 162 for seven.
South Africa have never won the 50 over World Cup, and ABD has been very vocal about how he is desperate to win the elusive Cup for his nation.
With captain Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow rested, Middlesex left-hander Malan took full advantage of his opportunity, getting off the mark with a six after England lost the toss and was put into bat.
But it was a conversation with another Middlesex batsman in Voges, who didn’t makes his Test debut until he was 35, which helped persuade Malan, who turns 30 in September, that he would get a chance to play worldwide cricket. Hales should have been out on 10 when he mistimed a drive off Morris only for Phehlukwayo to make a complete hash of a routine catch, with England 49 for one in the seventh over. Since his return, he has not been able to deliver the goods consistently. He swatted his second ball in global cricket for six, and didn’t look back.
No Proteas bowler was spared punishment. Sister Line Malan plays hockey for South Africa.
But it was Malan who did the most to boost his chances of forcing his way into the England team on a longer-term basis, showing enormous confidence as he smashed his second ball over mid-wicket for six.
Meanwhile Hales suffered a painful blow on eight when he bottom edged a pull off paceman Paterson onto an unprotected knee.
The Nottinghamshire opener was able to resume after treatment and survived moments later when Phehlukwayo spilled the simplest of chances at mid-off. But the last ball of that over saw him fail to get enough height and the tall Hales take a well-judged catch on the boundary edge. “I feel like every time I get an opportunity, I have a massive point to prove just because of my age”, Malan told ecb.co.uk. Jos Buttler was joined by Sam Billings and the pair added another 39 as England found themselves 166-4 with 14 balls remaining.
The series defeat comes just days after the AB de Villiers-led side performed poorly in the ICC Champions Trophy and could manage only one victory in three matches during the tournament on United Kingdom soil.
The seamer picked up the wickets of Buttler and David Willey in consecutive balls again as he was hit for just two runs to limit England to 181-8.