In the ongoing second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, England’s defeat appears to be a foregone conclusion. The Three Lions were bowled out for a meagre 236 in response to Australia’s 473/9 in the first innings, delivering the hosts a whopping 237-run lead in the first innings. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, among others, made the pink ball a talking point, while the majority of the English hitters appeared befuddled.

Dawid Malan, who hit 80 off 157 deliveries with 10 boundaries, was England’s leading run-scorer in the first innings. Malan arrived in the latter hour of the second day’s play, after England had lost starter Rory Burns for just seven runs. As the visitors were reeling at 17/2 at stumps, Haseeb Hameed was also bowled cheaply.

While England appeared to be in serious difficulty, Malan teamed up with skipper Joe Root and the pair put up 138 runs for the third wicket. The southpaw, who is currently the top-ranked T20I batter, appeared to be on his way to his second Test century. However, while batting at 80, he was caught by Mitchell Starc.

Notably, this was the second time Malan came so close to reaching the three-figure milestone but fell short. The 34-year-old scored 82 in England’s second innings in their inaugural match at the Gabba, but the visitors lost by nine wickets. Malan is upset after missing the ton twice in a straight, and he communicated his disappointment at the end of the day’s play.

“We talk about taking 20 wickets or whatever it is, but in Australia, big runs and big hundreds win Test matches.” After England was dismissed for 236 runs, Malan remarked, “Both Rooty and I were in a position to get hundreds in the last match and we didn’t do it, and we were in the same position here and both times we’ve been found short as a batting unit.”

“That’s something we need to improve on from this innings onwards, to make sure that if someone gets in, we get that huge 100,” he continued. In Tests, the seasoned batter has already achieved nine fifty-plus scores, but only one of them has resulted in a century.