Forget the ’Cape Doctor’ as Englishman Malan blows the Proteas into the ocean
CAPE TOWN - South Africa huffed and puffed, but England still blew the Proteas’ house down with ease at Newlands on Tuesday night to complete a historic 3-0 whitewash. It is the first time the Proteas had failed to win a game in a T20I series at home.
As so often in recent months, it was Dawid Malan who played the most prominent role for the visitors. The world’s No 1 ranked short-format batsman stroked 99 not out in a T20 masterpiece. There was placement and timing, mixed with the brute force and innovation that is required in T20 cricket. It took a mere 47 balls, contained 11 fours and five sixes
Malan would be the first to thank his partner Jos Buttler, not only for the vice-captain’s undefeated 67-run contribution in the world-record 167-run partnership for the second wicket, but also for agreeing to send a review early on his innings upstairs.
Umpire Bongani Jele had adjudged Lungi Ngidi’s first ball of his spell that struck Malan on his pads adjacent to the stumps, but upon review it was shown to be pitching outside the leg-stump.
Malan certainly benefited from the reprieve, punctuated by a rasping square drive that raced to the boundary off Ngidi’s very next ball.
The home side’s attack – bar the impressive George Linde once again – simply had no plan on how they were going to contain either batsman.
Anrich Nortje tried to bounce Malan like when he hit the left-hander on the shoulder in Paarl last Sunday, but on this occasion the batsman was waiting on the back foot and powerfully pulled the speedster to the mid-wicket fence the very first ball he faced.
Furthermore both batsman pounced on the plethora of over-pitched deliveries and drove powerfully down the ground.
Young Proteas seamer Lutho Sipamla, who had not played since March, was certainly taught some harsh lessons the night and will hopefully go away and address some of his faults with bowling coach Charl Langeveldt going forward.
Equally, the spin threat was nullified with Tabraiz Shamsi failing to follow-up his career-best performance from Boland Park as the wrist-spinner leaked 57 runs in his four overs.
It had all looked so different at the halfway stage for the Proteas after Rassie van der Dussen (74 not off 32 balls) and Faf du Plessis (52 not out off 37 balls) created a great deal of momentum towards the backend of the innings.
The duo were in rasping form, belting 84 runs from the final overs to propel the Proteas to a formidable-looking target.
However, Malan and Buttler quickly doused any hope the Proteas had of claiming a consolation victory with a match-winning partnership that showed the home side how far off the pace they really are in T20 cricket.
Note: The "Cape Doctor" is the local name for the strong, often persistent and dry south-easterly wind that blows on the South African coast from spring to late summer. It is known as the Cape Doctor because of a local belief that it clears Cape Town of pollution and 'pestilence'.