Tom helps England U19s make it four out of four

Tom Banton helped England’s Under-19s maintain their 100% record in the Tri-Series in Potchefstroom with an eight-wicket win against South Africa.

Tom top-scored with 74 from 80 balls, with 10 fours and a six and shared an opening stand of 109 with Warwickshire opener Liam Banks.

However, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman credited the bowling performance, led by Will Jacks and Prem Sisodiya, for setting up the win.

South Africa got off to a flier with an opening stand of 96 between Matthew Breetzke and Jiveshan Pillay, who have each made several first-class appearances already in their domestic competition for Eastern Province and Northerns respectively.

But Jacks broke the stand by having Pillay caught behind by Banton, who later collected a stumping and a second catch.

Sisodiya, the left-arm spinner from Glamorgan, bowled his 10 overs straight through to claim two for 43, while Surrey all-rounder Jacks earned three for 41.

Essex quick Jack Plom then returned to end with three for 47, including Breetzke caught by Brook for 101, and Worcestershire seamer Adam Finch also claimed a wicket as the South Africans posted 248 for nine.

Following the match Tom said: “I spoke to a few people before the game and agreed that I had to stop putting so much pressure on myself. So I went out and played freely, and found that was the easiest way. Then Brooky and Jacksy knocked off the rest – Brooky has been batting so well on this tour, which is so good to see.”

England won by eight wickets with almost nine overs to spare, but need to produce one more big performance in Sunday’s final to take the Tri-Series title – which would be the perfect tonic ahead of their departure for the ICC Under-19s World Cup in New Zealand next month.

“It’s been a great feeling to put some wins together, especially after what we went through against India in the summer,” added Tom, who has relished touring with his Somerset team-mates Fin Trenouth and Tom Lammonby – both of whom were rested for this match.

“The first win against South Africa was one of the best feelings I’ve had in cricket, because we played so well in the field and put so much pressure on them. Fin played a big part in that, and I think we maybe missed him a bit today.”

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