Tom Banton shines for England Under 19s

Tom Banton responded to his late elevation to the England Under-19s captaincy by playing a classic skipper’s knock in Scarborough yesterday – and Tom Lammonby, the Somerset club-mate he replaced, was one of the first to congratulate him.

Banton, who stepped up to the captaincy late last week when Lammonby was ruled out by a heel problem, made 137 in England’s total of 305, with handy lower-order support from the Middlesex pair of Jack Davies (26) and Luke Hollman (45) securing a first-innings lead of 73.

One of the first messages he received after returning to the Scarborough pavilion was from Lammonby as he explained. “I had a message from him, which is typical of Tom,” said Banton, who relished the chance to show that the expansive strokeplay which has already earned him nine senior white-ball appearances for Somerset could be equally effective in a four-day game.

“It was horrible for him to be ruled out of the captaincy in this game after he missed the Under-19s World Cup in the winter with injury as well.

“He’s still on our group chat and the good thing for him is he’s still very young. He’ll bounce back.

“It’s the first time I’ve captained a team for a while, and I wouldn’t say it made me bat any differently. Going in at three with us losing a few wickets, it was important to absorb their pressure.

“I enjoyed it. I’ve played quite a lot of second team cricket with Somerset this year, and it’s been going well.

“This was international cricket, a bit different, and they had some good bowlers. Gideon Peters [who took four for 76] bowled quite quick, and they had another guy who bowled big in-swingers, but sometimes having that pace on the ball can make it easier to keep the score moving.”

England lost Ben Charlesworth before he had added to his overnight score, and struggled to 150 for five before Davies joined Banton to add 81 for the sixth wicket.

When Banton was out at 240 for seven, he had scored well over half of the team’s runs, hitting 23 fours and two sixes.

But England were grateful to Hollman, who followed his four-wicket performance on the first day by underlining his batting ability.

South Africa will resume the third day on 24 without loss, still 49 behind.

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