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Dawid Malan is confident of Trent Rockets chances

Dawid Malan is confident of Trent Rockets chances
Dawid Malan is confident of Trent Rockets chances

Dawid Malan believes his Trent Rockets team are “one or two good performances away” from winning the Men’s Hundred title after they secured their place in the knockout stages with a 29-run victory against Welsh Fire at Trent Bridge last night.

Batting first, the Rockets made 172 with the biggest contribution coming from Malan once again as he made 58 from 37 balls. The England international’s fine innings was backed up by the bowlers, with the spin of Tabraiz Shamsi (two for 12) and Samit Patel (two for 23) putting the target out of reach.

The Rockets will hope Malan’s form can continue as they look to improve on their third-place finish last season

They exited at the eliminator stage in the competition last year after being bowled out for 96 against eventual winners Southern Brave on a pitch Malan said “didn’t suit” his team. This year though, the Rockets have prepared for all eventualities and Malan praised the backroom staff for adding “balance” to the side.

“We’ve got so many options, we can leave a spinner out and bring in an extra seamer,” he said.

“I think we've got a well-balanced squad. We just need to get one more good performance or two more depending on where we are.

“We've got a lot of guys with a lot of experience and they might not be the massive names, that get picked up all over the shop but, the players like Samit (Patel) and Hales, myself, Lewis Gregory, you know, the experience that we've got there it helps so much in these tournaments."

Malan is the men’s competition’s leading run-scorer with 358 runs and his opening pairing with Alex Hales has often been the difference. Both are inside the top five for runs scored in the competition.

“Last year I didn't play very well but sort of hung around and got a few scores,” he said.

“This year I have been hitting the ball much better and touch wood, hopefully, that can continue.”

Malan credits a return to an opening position for his uptick in form.

“Opening is where I've added in my career to get picked for England,” he said.

“And then since I’ve got an opportunity at three for England, I've been at three, four or five in every other place in the world, which is so frustrating. I had a chat with Andy (Flower) and said that's my best position. Thankfully, I’ve got runs and it's nice to just go and do what I've done for so many years, which I've probably lost over the last three years.”

The Welsh Fire has missed a top England batsman of their own in their line-up, with star man Johnny Bairstow unavailable and poor batting form resulting in a winless competition.

Welsh Fire all-rounder Matt Critchley, said: “A few guys will be disappointed with the form that they've had. It's just unfortunately, it's all happened at the same time and led to a pretty disappointing tournament."

By Adam Dosunmu Slater, ECB Hundred Rising Reporter