England's Eoin Morgan defends skipping series decider

England's Eoin Morgan defends skipping series decider

England debutant Dawid Malan's hard-hitting 78 helped the hosts to a 19-run victory over South Africa in their Twenty 20 worldwide at Cardiff on Sunday to secure a 2-1 series win.

The narrow victory at Somerset's headquarters saw South Africa level the three-match series at 1-1 as bounced back from a nine-wicket defeat by England in Southampton two days earlier to set-up a winner-takes-all clash in Cardiff today. "I will wait until the final decision on the coach and things like that are made", he explained, with Russell Domingo's future already uncertain before he left the tour prior to the Proteas' three-run win in the second Twenty20 at Taunton on Friday after his mother was involved in a traffic accident.

It had been a strong bowling performance from South Africa with seamer Chris Morris, who removed the risky Bairstow after picking up opener Sam Billings early, providing pace and fire in his spell of 2-18 from four overs.

With South Africa 64-3 at the halfway point of their chase, AB de Villiers (35 off 19 balls) threatened, blasting Mason Crane for 16 off the next three balls.

Malan, coming in at No.3, let his first ball go and monstered his second over mid-wicket for six.

"It is disappointing to lose given the position we were in but South Africa bowled well at the end", said Morgan.

By the time Malan had caught South Africa opener JJ Smuts off the bowling of Liam Plunkett for 29, however, the Proteas were 59-3 inside the 10th over with a hard looking run-rate to negotiate.

And debutant Malan led the way with the bat, smashing 78 off 44 balls to help propel the hosts to 181-8 from their 20 overs.

Yet South Africa barely got going in their response as England picked up wickets at regular intervals. "I've only played one game, especially with the guys we've got - hopefully they rest a few in the next game as well!" Even Morkel, sending down 90-miles-per-hour deliveries on a green-tinged pitch, was in the firing line with Malan striking him out of the ground and towards the River Taff.

England were guilty of carelessness in the closing stages, losing their last five wickets for 15 runs, as Paterson recorded best T20 figures of four for 32.

However, the Proteas batsmen were unable to build on the momentum as the new members of England's bowling attack joined Malan in making their case for a regular place.

"Mason Crane, for a 20-year-old, has got great character".

As it was Morgan defended the decision, saying: "We recognise the big opportunity to have a look at younger players".

AB de Villiers too came back with a bang after being criticised for the slowest T20I fifty for South Africa in the first T20I.

"They fielded pretty well and saved about 10, so there's a 30-run swing there".