Tom Banton delighted by debut

Tom Banton returned to the Cooper Associates County Ground this week for the first time since making his NatWest T20 Blast debut for Somerset in their 21 run victory over Middlesex at Uxbridge.

The 18 year old wicket-keeper batsman, who is currently a member of the Somerset Academy, has impressed for the Second XI particularly in the shorter format of the game. He also came on as a substitute fielder and claimed a stunning catch in the game against Surrey at the Oval.

He was called up to make his Somerset debut at Middlesex when Steve Davies withdrew with a stiff neck, and grabbed his chance with both hands.

Although he only scored four runs when he batted, Tom impressed with his wicket-keeping and claimed an impressive leg side stumping off Michael Leask to remove Middlesex dangerman Dawid Malan in the third over of the innings.

On his return to Taunton Tom talked about his recent experiences. “It was good fun to make my debut,” he said. “I must admit that I felt quite nervous beforehand but I soon felt at ease and in the end it felt just the same as any other game.”

“I have never felt so nervous as I did when I went on as a sub fielder at the Oval, but then the catch I took in the outfield just eased everything and made me feel normal again. I’m not sure if I am going to play on Friday or not but if I do I’m really looking forward to playing at home in front of a full house. It’s something that I’ve been dreaming about ever since I was quite little.

“I think in recent months Steve Snell has been a huge help to me and has given me chances in the Seconds. Mum and Dad and a number of my family were there to watch me on Sunday which made it a really special occasion. It was great fun and then to see them afterwards was very special.”

How difficult has he found the step up from Second XI cricket? “I think the biggest difference was that I had to be switched on for the whole game,” he said. “Even when you are off the pitch waiting to bat you have to watch and see how the wicket is playing and what the bowlers are doing.  That is something that I have now found myself doing.”

What about ‘keeping to the Middlesex batsmen? “It was quite weird standing so close to people like Brendan McCullum and Eoin Morgan,” he said. “I have seen them on television but to find myself playing against them was quite cool!”

Regarding the stumping of Dawid Malan, Tom said: “The pitch wasn’t really turning and he went down the wicket a bit before so I thought Leasky might bowl it down leg side and he did.”

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