Dawid Malan stakes his claim to open at Cricket World Cup by scoring a superb century as England thrash New Zealand by 100 runs in fourth and final ODI to seal a 3-1 series triumph… with Moeen Ali taking four wickets in win
- Dawid Malan completed a hugely impressive run as a substitute for Jason Roy
- His superb century at Lord’s followed scores of 54 in Cardiff and 96 at the Oval
- Off-spinner Moeen Ali claimed 4-50 as New Zealand were bowled out for 211
There’s still a lot to think about as England consider the final squad for their World Cup defense, but one thing is now certain: Dawid Malan will walk out when they start the tournament next month, including against New Zealand, in Ahmedabad.
So often underestimated among England’s power hitters, Malan cannot be ignored after completing a hugely impressive one-day international series in which he replaced Jason Roy with a superb century in the 100-run that gave them a 3-point yielded. 1 series win.
It followed his 54 in the opening defeat at Cardiff and the 96 in the Oval win that marked Malan’s brief absence from Southampton for the birth of his son.
And it means star Roy, again missing due to the back injury that has now ruled him out of the entire series, can hope when England name their final squad as batting reserves next week.
That too remains in doubt as England will be reluctant to take a player under an injury cloud on a grueling World Cup tour of India with so many internal flights, even one vital to their rise to become the world’s dominant white-ball power become. as Roy.
Dawid Malan scored a brilliant century in the final ODI against New Zealand on Friday
Tim Southee suffered a broken and dislocated thumb when he dropped a Joe Root catch at gully
The situation is further complicated by Harry Brook’s failure to capitalize on the opportunity presented to him when he was added to this squad to face New Zealand after being left out of the preliminary World Cup party in the first place.
Brook was back in his middle order at home for this fourth one-day international, with England resting Ben Stokes, but he could only make 10 off 15 balls after his two failures as a makeshift opener at the start of this series.
He is the favorite to beat Roy when England announce their final hand – and they could add Roy to their squad for three games against Ireland, starting at Headingley on Wednesday – but that is far from certain.
There are also concerns over two batsmen who are crucial to England’s hopes of successfully defending the 50-over title they won so dramatically in the last one-day international against New Zealand at Lord’s, the four-year World Cup final past.
Jonny Bairstow again looked out of form and skittish here before being put out of his misery by Matt Henry on 13, while Joe Root looked again when he was dropped twice before being bowled for 29 by Rachin Ravindra. Both will travel, of course, but both could do with some scoring in England’s two warm-up games before the World Cup opener on October 5.
With Malan, no such concerns exist. He appears to be constantly fighting for his place, with England initially clearly banking on the proven opening partnership of Bairstow and Roy to lead their attack in India.
But time and again Malan has defied the doubters and here he showed his class by making 127 off 114 balls and dominating England’s 311 for nine on a slow Lord’s pitch that was far from conducive to his preference for pace.
In the process, Malan passed a thousand ODI runs in just his 21st innings, with five centuries and five fifties, the same number of hits as the illustrious trio of Sir Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen and Babar Azam. There was really nothing more he could do to seal his position.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali claimed 4-50 as New Zealand were bowled out for 211
Rachin Ravindra hit a quickfire 61 before being bowled by Sam Curran
“To break into England’s white ball you have to be a freak or consistent,” series player Malan said. ‘I’ve had to try to be as consistent as possible and put match-winning performances on the board.’
It was far too much for a New Zealand side that suffered injury after injury in the field, most seriously to Tim Southee, who dislocated and broke his right thumb while dropping Root. The World Cup hopes of one of New Zealand’s best bowlers are hanging by a thread.
Only Ravindra excelled for New Zealand by following his four wickets with a maiden ODI half-century and unsuccessfully launching a late attack with 21 in an over off Brydon Carse.
In the absence of Adil Rashid with a sore calf, Moeen Ali stepped up to the plate with four wickets as New Zealand crashed to 211 for nine, with Southee unable to bat, and a comprehensive defeat.