On this day in 2017: Malan first Englishman to hit a half-century on T20 debut

Dawid Malan became the first England batsman to hit a half-century on his T20 debut on this day in 2017.

Malan’s 78 from 44 balls helped the hosts secure a 2-1 series victory over South Africa courtesy of a 19-run win in Cardiff.

The then Middlesex left-hander’s aggressive knock was the bedrock of his country’s 181 for eight at the SSE Swalec Stadium, a target which proved beyond the Proteas, who ended on 162 for seven.

It also surpassed the record score of an England T20 debutant – Paul Collingwood’s 46 in England’s maiden match in the format in 2005.

Then aged 29, Malan insisted he must build on his impressive first outing, while admitting he thought his opportunity to play international cricket may have passed.

“I don’t think playing one game, you can think you’ve made it. You’ve got to constantly put scores on the board,” he said.

“I didn’t think it (the chance to represent England) would ever come but it was nice to get an opportunity and to go and show what I can do.

England's Dawid Malan, right, is congratulated by Alex Hales after reaching his half-century
England’s Dawid Malan, right, is congratulated by Alex Hales after reaching his half-century (Nigel French/PA)

“The first few balls I wasn’t (composed). When the nerves left the body it was a lot easier. To play for your country’s a fantastic experience and I think you’re nervous either way.”

Arriving at the crease after opener Jason Roy fell for eight, Malan took on the short ball against the seamers and did not let up against a change of pace, nonchalantly flicking leg-spinner Imran Tahir over his shoulder to bring up his half-century from 31 deliveries.

He was eventually caught at long-on by Dane Paterson in the 14th over following another Tahir delivery.