Of Tom Banton, Craig Overton and a Very Rare Victory

19th April 2020

Somerset v Kent RLODC, Good Friday, April 17th 2019, Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

Somerset 358-9 beat Kent 94 all out by 264 runs

Exactly one year ago today Tom Banton announced himself not just to the Somerset faithful but to the wider cricketing world. By the end of this eventually triumphant campaign for Somerset Banton was variously being heralded as the “next KP” (YUK) tipped for England honours before the year was out and even in some quarters being called into the England World Cup squad.

But we get ahead of ourselves and detract from something that has been all too rare for Somerset fans, the opportunity to savour, a white ball victory over the much-detested Men of Kent.

And what a victory it was. Somerset constructed a 7 runs per over mountain built around Banton’s 107 (79 balls, 11 fours, 4 sixes) sustained by Lewis Gregory (51, 45, 6, 2) and topped off by Craig Overton 66* (36, 4, 4) who contributed to 107 runs in the last 11.1 overs after Gregory departed. Both Tom and Craig recorded career bests in List A cricket.

Perhaps it was the scars of the defeat less than two weeks before, maybe it was the shellacking they had just taken but Kent were never in it. They collapsed to 26-4 inside the first 8 overs, and from there, there was no way back.

Craig Overton finished his perfect day with 5-18 and it was all over with Kent having not sued almost half of their allotted overs.

You couldn’t have had a more perfect start to the 50-over campaign. Perfect weather, a bank holiday Good Friday crowd and one of those games where, from the earliest overs, victory was never in doubt. To achieve all that against a county which has, despite its obvious inferiority in playing strength for many years, won the vast majority of recent encounters made it even sweeter.

The 2019 One-Day cup campaign was up and running.  

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