• Banton Batters Kent

    Posted on June 30th, 2021

    Somerset’s Tom Banton has pinched top spot from Jonny Bairstow in the chase for this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy after scoring a 47-ball century against Kent in the Vitality Blast Southern Group match at Canterbury on June 28. As a thick mist hung over the St Lawrence ground, the 22-year-old opener and his partner Devon Conway made light of Kent’s total of 168 for 8 securing a 10-wicket win with 26 balls to spare. Banton’s blistering hundred included 7 sixes and 7 fours, before finishing on 107 not out.

    Born in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, Banton was a member of the Warwickshire academy and played for the county’s second XI in 2015 before moving to King’s College, Taunton, to further his education. His cricketing skills burgeoned at the school, along with his talent on the hockey field, where he played centre forward for England Under 17s.

    Joining Somerset, Banton made his T20 debut in 2017 and his first-class debut in 2018, when he captained England in the ICC Under-19s World Cup. In 2019, he became a regular in all three formats, scoring two centuries in Somerset’s victorious Royal London One-Day Cup campaign and made his maiden T20 hundred in the Vitality Blast, a 52-baller ironically against Kent.

    Another of England’s richly talented line of hard-hitting wicket-keeper/batsmen, Banton made his T20 International debut against New Zealand in November 2019 and three months later his One-Day International debut against South Africa. To date he has played in six ODIs and nine T20Is. His limited-over reputation has seen him become a hot property around the globe where he has represented Brisbane Heat, Kolkata Knight Riders, Peshawar Zalmi, Dubai Qalanders and Quetta Gladiators.

    Kent v Somerset scorecard
    Tom Banton’s career statistics

    Amy Sparkles

    Amy Jones has laid down a mighty impressive marker in the hunt for this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award with an unbeaten innings of 163, scored for Central Sparks against Western Storm, in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy match at Birmingham on May 31.

    Amy’s innings, scored off 114 balls and including 17 fours and 6 sixes, propelled her side to a total of 295-7 that set up a 41-run victory in the 50-over game. The in-form 28-year-old England wicket-keeper/batter’s sparkling knock followed a stirring run-a-ball 114 against Northern Diamonds two days previously.

    Jones, born in Solihull, represented the Warwickshire Academy in her mid-teens, and began to be selected for England Development and Academy programmes. In 2011, when she was 18, she was called up to the England Women’s Academy at Loughborough University. Amy made her One-Day International debut for England in the 2013 World Cup, scoring 41 against Sri Lanka; her T20 International debut came five months later against Pakistan and she made her Test debut in 2019 against Australia.

    A powerful striker of the ball, Amy has become an England regular across all formats since 2018, often opening the batting, and now ‘keeping on a permanent basis after Sarah Taylor’s retirement in 2019. As well as playing for Loughborough Lightning and Central Sparks, she has also represented Warwickshire Women, Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers.

    The Walter Lawrence Trophy, now in its 87th year, is awarded for the fastest hundred of the season and is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, T20 Internationals, The Hundred and Test matches in England.

    The Walter Lawrence Women’s Award is awarded for the highest individual score in a season from ECB Women’s one-day competitions and all England Women’s matches played on home soil. The Walter Lawrence Schools Award is awarded for the highest score by a school batsman against MCC.