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Dawid Malan’s ‘crucial’ knock in a losing cause could still secure Middlesex man place on England’s Ashes tour

PUBLISHED: 10:30 01 September 2017

England's Dawid Malan in batting action against South Africa (pic Adam Davy/PA)

England's Dawid Malan in batting action against South Africa (pic Adam Davy/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

The 29-year-old was praised by captain Joe Root and team-mate Chris Woakes after his fifty against the West Indies

Middlesex’s Dawid Malan looks to have potentially booked his seat on the flight to Australia later this year for the Ashes tour after doing well for England during their defeat to the West Indies in the second test at Headingley this week.

The 29-year-old followed up his maiden test fifty earlier this month with another half century for his country.

Malan came to the crease in the second innings to join Joe Root with the hosts reeling on 94-3 and still trailing the West Indies by 75 runs after they wracked up 427 all out in reply to England’s 258.

With conditions difficult, the Middlesex batter played patiently and managed to spend close to five hours out in the middle.

It was not the fluent Malan we have come to expect and seen several times at Lord’s for his county, but his 61 off 186 balls was just what England needed.

Root struck 72 with Ben Stokes (58), Moeen Ali (84) and Chris Woakes (61) passing fifty to help the hosts recover from a tricky position.

England were able to declare on 490-8 and set West Indies 322 to win, which the away side managed in stunning fashion on the final day (Tuesday).

Nevertheless, Malan’s innings caught the eye and received praise from his captain and team-mates.

Woakes said: “It was a very crucial innings and was good for him because he is still fairly new into the team.

“He should take confidence from that as he batted through some tricky spells from the West Indies.

“They came in hard at that period when they thought they had a sniff of knocking us over and he played well, so I am really pleased for him.”

Skipper Root heaped praise on Malan and Surrey opener Mark Stonemen, who hit an equally gutsy 52 off 124 balls in the second innings.

He added: “They showed great character and stood up in difficult conditions when we were up against it as a side and they made vital runs.

“They didn’t necessarily play games which were natural to them, but I really enjoyed watching them go about their business because they did the ugly work if you like and gave us a chance to get into a position where we could win the Test.”

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