|Third Twenty20, Newlands, Cape Town|
|South Africa 191-3 (20 overs): Van der Dussen 74* (32), Du Plessis 52* (37), Stokes 2-26|
|England 192-1 (17.4 overs): Malan 99* (47), Buttler 67* (47)|
|England won by nine wickets; won series 3-0|
Dawid Malan made a magnificent 99 not out as England completed a 3-0 series victory over South Africa in Cape Town to go top of the Twenty20 rankings.
Chasing 192 to win, Malan and Jos Buttler added an unbroken 167 to power England home with 14 balls to spare.
Buttler made an unbeaten 67 off 46 balls and Malan faced only 47 as they hit a combined 14 fours and 10 sixes.
Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen’s unbeaten 74 and Faf du Plessis’ 50 not out helped South Africa post 191-3.
Victory took England above Australia at the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings, although Justin Langer’s side could return to number one if they win their series against India starting on Friday.
The game at Newlands was also notable for England analysts on the dressing room balcony using a coded letter and number system to pass tactical advice on to captain Eoin Morgan during the South Africa innings.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said the move had been approved by the ICC and was “intended as a live informational resource that the captain may choose to use or ignore as he wishes”.
A three-match one-day series between England and South Africa starts in Cape Town on Friday.
South Africa will be without pace bowler Kagiso Rabada because of the adductor strain that ruled him out of the final T20.
Malan shows his star quality again
Ranked as the number one T20 batsman in the world, Malan often accumulates at the start of his innings, but he moved to 16 from three deliveries courtesy of some woeful South Africa bowling after Jason Roy fell cheaply again.
Malan was strong all around the wicket, but as usual latched on to width superbly well, hitting 30 of his runs through the covers on a true surface.
Man of the match in the second T20 for a match-winning 55, he moved to his half-century off 26 balls – his fastest in international cricket – and has now scored six half-centuries in his past 12 T20 games for England.
The 33-year-old should have been run out on 36, when England were 75-1, but South Africa captain and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock fumbled Temba Bavuma’s throw.
The only downside for Malan was a miscalculation when he ran a single with the scores level to be left stranded one short of a second T20 international hundred.
Buttler at the other end was superb. He started in subdued fashion, scoring 22 off as many balls, but in the 11th over hit the inexperienced Lutho Sipamla for 21, including two massive sixes over mid-wicket.
The next over, bowled by spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, went for 19 as England broke the back of the chase.
The temperament Malan and Buttler showed in an ultimately comfortable chase will delight Morgan as England build towards next October’s T20 World Cup in India.
Van der Dussen shines as England bowlers lose their way
When Van der Dussen joined Du Plessis at the crease South Africa were struggling on 64-3 in the 10th over and being pegged back by an excellent England bowling performance.
That trend continued for a few overs before a huge momentum swing in the 16th over as they hammered 84 off the final five overs.
Tom Curran went for 16 before Jofra Archer conceded 22 – his most expensive over in T20 cricket as he finished with 0-44 – including two massive leg-side sixes from Van der Dussen.
He and Du Plessis took 17 off Sam Curran’s penultimate over, and 20 off the last, bowled by Chris Jordan.
Van der Dussen hit positively, down the ground and over midwicket, striking five fours and five sixes in his highest T20 international score.
The England bowlers were guilty of missing their length too often, allowing the pair to free their arms and find the boundary almost at will.
‘England blew us away’ – what they said
Man of the series Dawid Malan: “The last two innings I haven’t hit it as well as I had liked.
“I thought 190 might be a bit too many. We ended up getting a bit of momentum and the wicket played so well – it skidded on nicely.”
On ending on 99 not out: “I knew there were five runs left, but I didn’t know how that would go down if I turned down the single.”
England captain Eoin Morgan: “It’s extremely pleasing. Dawid and Jos were absolutely outstanding. To win a game in such commanding fashion builds a lot of confidence in the changing room.
“To be able to chase a total like that, given we didn’t get off to an absolute flier… it’s very encouraging signs.”
Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler on England topping the T20 rankings: “It’s fantastic for us to achieve that status.
“It’s a result of us playing good cricket and it’s exciting for us to know that we are playing well.”
South Africa captain Quinton de Kock: “It’s disappointing, but those guys played unbelievable innings. They blew us away.
“We’re not playing as badly as it looks. We’re still getting together. It was always going to be difficult. Going forward the boys are still confident.”