Tom Banton, the England Under-19 captain, starred on the second day of their first four-day ‘Test’ against South Africa Under-19 with a dominant 137.
The 19-year-old gave another indication of his prodigious talent in his 167-ball innings in Scarborough on Monday, 9 July that put England in a strong position to go 1-0 up in the two-match series even as Gideon Peters, the paceman, returned 4/76.
Replying to South Africa’s 232, England ended their first innings on 305. If medium pacer Jack Plom (3/45) and leg-spinner Luke Hollman (4/39) were England’s bowling stars, the batting was mostly about Banton, as he scored close to half the team’s runs.
The next best effort was 45* from Hollman. The day ended with South Africa on 24/0 in their second innings.
The second day’s play started under overcast conditions, and medium pacer Jarred Jardine struck early to send back Ben Charlesworth, the England opener, to leave the home side on 46/2.
Wickets continued to fall at one end, but Banton made merry, notching up his half-century from 59 balls. He then brought up his hundred with a boundary in the 40th over, taking England to 176/5.
He was finally dismissed by Achille Cloete, the medium pacer, after having hit 23 fours and two sixes. The total then was 240/8, but Hollman and Jack Davies (26) helped push it past 300.
Banton is just 19, but highly regarded in England, where he has already made his List A debut for Somerset.
An attacking batsman and a wicket-keeper, Banton played a leading role in England’s campaign at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018, when he scored 233 runs in six innings, second only to Harry Brook’s 239 in the England charts. The runs included a century and a half-century.
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