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Cricket: Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan admits he feared England chance would never come

PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 June 2017

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan (right) is congratulated on reaching a half century for England by Alex Hales (pic: Nigel French/PA)

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan (right) is congratulated on reaching a half century for England by Alex Hales (pic: Nigel French/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Malan hit 78 for England in win over South Africa to be named man of the match

Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan admits he feared he would never get the chance to represent England internationally after enjoying a dream T20 debut on Sunday.

Malan was named man of the match after hitting a sublime 78 to set up a 19-run victory for England against South Africa, securing a 2-1 series win in the process.

The left-handed batsman first broke onto the scene as a 21-year-old nine years ago when smashing a century in a Twenty20 Cup quarter-final against Lancashire.

Now 29, Malan has had to bide his time to get his chance on the international, which he took with aplomb, but the Middlesex man says he though the opportunity would never come.

“It is a fantastic experience to play for your country and to contribute in a win like that on debut is fantastic,” he told BBC Sport after the win.

“I thought this day might never come. I had a chat with (Middlesex colleague) Adam Voges, who played later for Australia.

“I asked what he did and how he kept motivated when you keep getting overlooked for younger and younger players.

“He gave me some advice and fortunately I had a good Lions series and got picked when players were rested.”

Malan came into the side at the expense of fellow Middlesex batsman Eoin Morgan, who despite captaining the England T20 side, opted to rest himself for the decider.

The 29-year-old batted at number three and joined Alex Hales at the crease with the hosts 13-1 after Jason Roy departed for just eight.

Malan and Hales went on to add 105 for the second wicket to set England on course for a good total before the Nottinghamshire man went.

The Middlesex man soon joined Hales in the pavilion, but by that stage had hit 78 off just 44 balls, contributing heavily to England’s score of 181-8.

South Africa never really threatened in reply, with Chris Jordan taking 3-31 as the tourists closed on 162-7.

It was Malan’s contribution, though, that proved the match-winner, with stand-in skipper Jos Buttler praising the debutant.

“Dawid was fantastic on debut. It is not easy to come in and show that much composure under pressure. On debut it was a fantastic effort,” said Buttler.

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