Proteas opener Janneman Malan says his success in scoring a brilliant century against Sri Lanka at the weekend was thanks to a little help from his friends.
Malan’s brilliantly composed 121 off 135 balls led South Africa to a series-levelling 67-run win in Colombo, with the visitors posting a commanding 283 for six as their top-order dovetailed superbly, supporting him in successive partnerships of 43, 96, 38 and 86. Heinrich Klaasen then provided the explosive finish with his impressive 43 off 27 balls.
“The batting unit did really well. The coaches have set us realistic goals and expectations and we know that if we hit those then we have a good chance of winning,” Malan said after his Man of the Match performance.
“Reeza Hendricks’ 51 was very valuable – he scored at a run-a-ball – and Heinrich deserves credit as well. And just watching Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen with the way they go about things, our batting is in a good space.”
The arrival of Malan in the ODI team has been nothing short of incredible.
The 25-year-old top-order batsman has now scored three hundreds and two fifties in his eight ODI innings, compiling a world-record 627 runs in his first eight innings, despite a first-ball duck on debut.
It is obvious that Malan’s uncomplicated style and unfazed approach has stood him in good stead.
“You never know how many chances you’re going to get, and these are new conditions and you have to try and adapt and trust your skills,” he said.
“I try not to think about my batting too hard. I just break it down and take it game by game. I don’t really know what to make of my start, I’m just trying to score runs. I feel fortunate to have made such a good start to my career.”
The third and decisive ODI will be played at the same Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.