New Zealand beaten as Malan becomes second England batsman to record T20 ton
Dawid Malan became only the second England batsman to record a Twenty20 international hundred as his destructive display of power hitting led to a comprehensive 76-run victory over a chastened New Zealand in Napier.
In bludgeoning 103 not out from 51 balls, Malan joined Alex Hales in an exclusive club, minutes after Eoin Morgan had broken the England record for the fastest T20 half-century.
The pair’s England best 182-run partnership formed the bedrock of their highest-ever total of 241 for three, with New Zealand getting nowhere close, all out for 165 after 16.5 overs, as the series was squared at 2-2 ahead of a decider in Auckland on Sunday.
Morgan was unable to follow his former Middlesex team-mate to three figures, falling for 91 from 41 deliveries in the final over, but it was the England captain’s arrival at the crease that saw a dramatic surge in tempo.
Malan had started slowly as he took 19 from his first 18 balls but he needed only a further 31 to reach three figures – beating Hales’ effort against Sri Lanka in Chittagong in 2014 by 12 deliveries.
After helping England overhaul their previous T20 best of 230 for eight against South Africa at the 2016 World Twenty20, Malan has immeasurably boosted his hopes of a squad berth in next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.