Tom and Devon lead Somerset to stunning win
A record breaking opening stand between Tom Banton and Devon Conway saw Somerset to a stunning 10-wicket win over Kent Spitfires at Canterbury in the Vitality Blast.
Banton’s sensational innings of 107 not out came from just 51 balls and included eight fours and seven sixes. Conway made an unbeaten 51 as Somerset chased down their target with 4.2 overs remaining, closing on 169 without loss, a record opening partnership for the County in T20 cricket.
The visitors won the toss and chose to field as fog closed in at the Spitfire County Ground, but it didn’t seem to affect their eyesight as Kent’s first seven dismissals were all caught.
Kent made a strong start before Daniel Bell-Drummond was out for 28, giving a return catch to Craig Overton with the final ball of the powerplay, leaving Kent on 53 for one.
Zak Crawley was taken by Max Waller at deep midwicket off Lewis Gregory, who then had Joe Denly caught by Marchant De Lange on the long off boundary. Alex Blake skied Overton and was held by a tumbling Gregory for 19 and Jack Leaning holed out to De Lange, caught by Tom Lammonby for five.
Darren Stevens was snared for eight by Conway off Jack Brooks and Adam Milne made just one when he hit Gregory to Will Smeed. Qais Ahmad hit his wicket trying to scoop Gregory, before Matt Milnes hit a four with the final ball of the innings, leaving Jordan Cox unbeaten on 16.
Gregory took four for 27 and Overton two for 40 as Kent posted 168 for eight.
As the mist cleared, Somerset cantered through the powerplay to 73 without loss, aided by some ordinary fielding. Banton hit Fred Klaassen for six over fine leg to bring up his 50 and reached his century with a single off Milne.
Conway tied the scores when he drove Milnes for two to reach his 50 and an almost silent St. Lawrence crowd watched Kent subside to their first home Blast defeat of the season, when he glanced the same bowler for a single to backward square leg.
After a memorable night Tom Banton said: “I rode my luck to begin with, a few went just over the fielders but that’s cricket for you. Some days they’re going to go straight to hand, so I’ll take it. I was nervous before the Hampshire game because obviously I had a few low scores, I think that’s the nature of how anyone would feel, so I tried to do exactly what I did in that last game and it came off.
“Devon’s been giving me a lot of stick recently for my football and cricket, but it’s still obviously nice to see one of the best in the world go about it. He just kept coming down to me and saying ‘come on let’s see it home, let’s win by ten wickets’, so it’s always nice to have someone like that at the other end.”
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