London [UK], September 16 (ANI): Following his match-winning century against New Zealand in the fourth ODI, England batter Dawid Malan said that it is good to score runs consistently for his side leading up to the World Cup, pointing out that one has to be either "a freak or consistent" to break into England's highly-competitive white-ball team.
A century by Dawid Malan and a four-wicket haul by Moeen Ali helped an all-round England secure a 100-run win over New Zealand in the fourth ODI to secure the series 3-1 at the iconic Lord's stadium on Friday.
"Good fun, especially scoring some runs here at the home of cricket and leading into a World Cup. It was a bit slow, when they built pressure I found it hard to score. But we built partnerships and got up to 300, which is what we were aiming for. [Joint fastest to 1,000 runs] Fantastic, did not know the stat but great one to have," said Malan in the post-match presentation.
"Trying to break into this team, you either have to be a freak or be consistent, and that is what I have tried to do, put match-winning performances on the board. I am gutted for the last game, did the hard work and to get out that way. But to do it today and back it up, to contribute to the win is unbelievable. Extremely excited (For the World Cup), a dream come true to play for England, being part of the squad and when it is confirmed it will be great to go," added the batter.
Malan has showcased great form in ODIs ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in India from October 5 onwards. In nine ODIs, he has scored 591 runs at an average of 73.87 and a strike rate of 96.86. He has scored three centuries and three fifties, with the best score of 127. As Jason Roy continues to sit on the sidelines and Joe Root struggles for ODI form, Malan is making his World Cup playing eleven case strong with each outing.
This ODI leg of the series against New Zealand has been a high point for him this year. He has scored 277 runs in three innings, with a century and two fifties. He has won the 'Player of the Series' award.
Coming to the match, England elected to bat first. After the early dismissal of Jonny Bairstow, a 79-run stand between Malan and Joe Root (29) brought England to three figures. Malan smashed his fifth ton and formed important partnerships with skipper Jos Buttler (36) and Liam Livingstone (28) to power England to the 250-run mark. Handy contributions from the lower order led by Sam Curran (20), took England to 311/9 in 50 overs.
Rachin Ravindra (4/60) was the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis. Matt Henry and Daryl Mitchell took two wickets. Kyle Jamieson got one wicket.
In the chase of 312, NZ batting once again faltered. Except for knocks from Rachin Ravindra (61 in 48 balls with three fours and four sixes) and Henry Nicholls (41 in 48 balls), the Kiwis batters failed to make much impact and were bundled out for 211 in 38.2 overs, losing the match by 100 runs.
Moeen Ali (4/50) was the pick of the bowlers for England. Liam Livingstone, Curran, David Willey and Brydon Carse took a wicket each.
England won the series 3-1 and Malan took home the 'Player of the Match' award. (ANI)