Dawid Malan sparkles as England lay down marker in bid to avoid India whitewash

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England’s Dawid Malan excelled with the bat (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
England’s Dawid Malan excelled with the bat (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Dawid Malan sparkled with 77 off 39 balls as England laid down a marker of 215 for seven in their bid to avoid a Twenty20 series whitewash against India at Trent Bridge.

In his previous 10 innings in the last year, Malan was without a half-century and averaging 21 with a 105 strike-rate, but while there has been little suggestion his place was under threat, the left-hander settled any doubts in a belligerent innings containing six fours and five sixes.

Malan capitalised on being dropped on four as Harshal Patel spilled a return catch after drawing a false stroke, while Liam Livingstone’s six-heavy 42 not out from 29 balls swelled England’s total.

Following wins at the Ageas Bowl and Edgbaston in recent days, India rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah and fielded a largely second-string bowling attack, with England curiously opting to bat first following a couple of limp displays while chasing and brought in Phil Salt and Reece Topley.

Jos Buttler bristled briefly and used Umran Malik’s pace against him but threw his head back in despair after dragging a subtle cutter on to his stumps and while Malan got under way with a slice for four off Harshal, he was dropped from the bowler’s next ball.

Jason Roy departed for 27 after a slash at Umran Malik took the outside edge while Salt was utterly bamboozled by Harshal, whose cleverly disguised slower ball dipped alarmingly and took out off-stump.

Malan was anchoring proceedings and was particularly enjoying his match-up against Ravindra Jadeja, taking 28 runs in the 11 balls he faced against the left-arm spinner.

He celebrated a 30-ball fifty with a straight drive off Malik before then thrashing the fast bowler high over extra cover for six. He just about cleared the fielder at deep midwicket off Avesh but was well and truly motoring on after dispatching Jadeja over the rope.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Harshal misjudged his lengths, bowling two full tosses which Liam Livingstone bludgeoned for back-to-back sixes, clearing deep square-leg by some distance on both occasions.

But in Bishnoi’s final over, Malan, attempting to go big again, top-edged high into the air, with Pant barely having to move to complete the catch, with England’s number three departing for 77 off 39 balls.

Two balls later, Moeen tried to likewise off another Bishnoi googly but Livingstone thrashed his fourth six off Avesh, who conceded back-to-back fours off Harry Brook (19 off nine balls). Livingstone was dropped in the deep by Kohli in the penultimate over as England went to 200 and beyond.

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