How Dawid Malan overcame nerves to help steer England to victory over South Africa

England's Dawid Malan raises his bat after reaching his half century. Picture: Nigel French/PA
England's Dawid Malan raises his bat after reaching his half century. Picture: Nigel French/PA
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Dawid Malan insisted he must build on his impressive debut after his half-century helped England secure a NatWest International Twenty20 Series victory over South Africa.

Middlesex left-hander Malan made 78 from 44 balls – the highest score by an England player on T20 debut – as the hosts posted 181-8 on their way to a 19-run win at the SSE Swalec Stadium in Cardiff.

The success, which was secured without rested captain Eoin Morgan, wrapped up a 2-1 series win over the Proteas.

England’s next T20 match comes in mid-September and Malan knows he must continue his form in county cricket.

“I don’t think playing one game, you can’t think you’ve made it,” he said. “You’ve got to constantly put scores on the board. Hopefully they (England) rest a lot of other players for the next game again and I can get another shout.”

Malan, who will turn 30 in just over two months, admitted he thought his chance of playing international cricket may have gone.

It’s an important part of our development, and our success in 50-over cricket and T20 has been down to the strength in depth we’ve had in the side.

England captain, Eoin Morgan.

“I didn’t think it would ever come, but it was nice to get an opportunity and to go and show what I can do,” he added.

“The first few balls I wasn’t (composed).

“When the nerves left the body it was a lot easier. To play for your country’s a fantastic experience and I think you’re nervous either way.”

In the absence of Morgan, England were captained by Jos Buttler and the stand-in captain praised the impact of his side’s inexperienced international players, including man of the match Malan.

“I think if you look around all the best teams in the world, there’s always very good players missing out with injuries or resting guys,” Buttler said.

“Dawid Malan just did what he’s being doing outside of the team. There is pressure on you when you come in and you feel like you need to perform to show your case so that’s a fantastic show of character for those guys.”

South Africa captain AB de Villiers admitted England deserved their series win.

Asked if it was a fair result, he said: “I think so... it is probably true that they played the better cricket throughout the series.”

Morgan, meanwhile, defended his decision to miss the series decider after former England captain and Yorkshire star Michael Vaughan responded to the decision by tweeting: “1-1 ... Series decider ... and the England Skipper is resting !!!!!!!!!!!!! #WTF ..... Worlds gone mad.”

But Morgan, who drew criticism for pulling out of England’s tour of Bangladesh in October 2016 because of his fears over terrorism, said the South African series was an opportunity to blood youngsters.

“It’s an important part of our development, and our success in 50-over cricket and T20 has been down to the strength in depth we’ve had in the side,” Morgan said.

“We’ve always had a lot of competition in the playing XI. Ideally, yes (he would have played). Given the rotation system that we have had in the past, it’s unfortunate.

“If it was a case where I could go on and captain, I would. It’s a very difficult situation to be in. I love playing international cricket, but unfortunately that is the case.

“It’s tough, but it’s a call you have to make looking to the long-term. It’s down to the quality of players that we have.”