Century for Malan as South thrash North in opener

Dawid Malan made a century and shared an unbroken opening partnership of 205 with Daniel Bell-Drummond as the South crushed the North by 10 wickets in the first game of the North-South Series in Dubai.

The North were dismissed for 202 after winning the toss and choosing to bat, with three wickets for Tom Curran and two each for Toby Roland-Jones, Mason Crane and the impressive Liam Dawson in a fine all-round bowling performance by the South team.

Malan and Bell-Drummond then made short work of the modest target, with more than 16 overs remaining when the Middlesex left-hander sealed victory with his 16th four.

Malan, who was included in an England T20 squad last summer, also hit a six as he ended unbeaten on 109 from 103 balls, while Bell-Drummond hit two sixes and 11 fours to reach 92 from 98.

The match was watched by England coach Trevor Bayliss as well as selectors James Whitaker and Mick Newell, with assistant coach Paul Farbrace enjoying an initial triumph over fast-bowling coach Ottis Gibson.

Centurion Malan said: “It’s nice to do it in front of the England selectors. That’s what these games are designed for: it’s a sort of second chance for guys to push their case and show the selectors what they have been missing out on.

“I’m pleased with this knock and hopefully I can continue in the next two games and follow up on it. It’s nice to have the runs on the board and get the win too.”

“I am a little bit surprised at how emphatic our victory was. They have a very good team on paper. We were expecting them to come out all guns blazing with the bat.

“The wicket was a little tricky this morning, and did a bit more than both teams thought it would. It got better as the game went on, but that happens. They have a good bunch of players and I’m sure they will bounce back.

“I played in the BPL and PSL so it’s been a very busy winter but it was a bit disappointing not being in the Lions so for me it’s a massive point to prove here to show what I have got.”

The North team now need to win the second match, also at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, to stay alive in the three-match series.

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