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25 May 2017

Tom and Will Show Talent in National T20 Schools Competition

Tom Banton hit a brilliant 155 off just 61 balls and Will Smeed made 50 off 30 to help King’s College set a new record opening partnership of 208 off 14.2 overs in the National T20 Schools Competition on Tuesday.

The King’s duo helped their side to reach 240 for three, in reply to which Sherborne ended on 108 for eight off their 20 overs. King’s College will now be at home in the regional semi-finals of this national competition.

Tom, who is 18 years old, was on fire and raced to his first 50 in 16 balls, reaching 100 in 40 before slowing down marginally to reach 150 off 61! During his innings he hit 16 fours and ten sixes.

At the other end, 15-year-old Will played his part and hit his 50 off 30 balls with seven fours and a six.

Both batsmen are in the Somerset Academy and have played for the Somerset Second XI. They are also involved with the England age group sides.

Tom is a top-order batsman, who keeps wicket and can also bowl. He is one of King’s brightest prospects since Jos Buttler and is already being compared to the England international.

Phil Lewis, Director of Cricket at King’s Schools said: “That innings of Tom’s is probably one of the most special that we have ever seen at King’s. We saw one that Jos Buttler played a few years ago – now Tom has played one of equal skill.

“As soon as Tom was out, a lot of people were asking me how he compares to Jos and I told them that he could be just as good if he keeps working hard. Tom has got all the talent and credentials to make it and I am sure he will get an opportunity in the Somerset 1st team sooner rather than later”.

“Sherborne weren’t a bad side and bowled in good areas, but didn’t know how to set a field for some of the shots Tom was playing. Anywhere they bowled he showed the level of talent he has, and continued to score runs. We talk a lot about trying to win overs by manoeuvering the field and with Tom’s high skill level he can do this very easily”

“What has helped him is the level of the coaches who have worked with him here at King’s, at Somerset, and on the England programme – all of whom have brought something different but with a similar key outcome. Tom is developing into that player who is building on his talent.

“Tom was just wonderful to watch and whether we see anything like that again here I don’t know… He has captained the side brilliantly this year and an innings like this shows how he leads from the front”

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