JOHANNESBURG: Tom Banton scored an impressive century while fast-bowler Gideon Peters, picked up four wickets on an even second day of the first Youth Test match between England and the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s at Scarborough Cricket Club on Monday.
With the day’s play beginning under overcast conditions, South Africa struck early to dismiss Ben Charlesworth (8) before the hosts could add to their overnight score of 46/1, Jarred Jardine (1/27) making an impact with the ball after his unbeaten 33 on day one.
Despite the early setback, England’s skipper continued to play uninhibited at the other end as he brought up his half-century. Partnered up with Jack Haynes (16), they took the hosts close to three figures before the latter was trapped lbw off Peters shortly before lunch – which was called early due to light rain – leaving the hosts on 97/3 at the interval.
The second session began on an even better note for the South Africans as Maritzburg College pupil, Mondli Khumalo (1/54) picked up the wicket of Oliver Robinson for just eight. With wickets falling around him, Banton forged ahead, recording a 43-run stand with Harrison Ward as he neared his century. The impetus came to a screeching end thanks to fast-bowler Achille Cloete (2/53), who got the breakthrough when he dismissed Ward for seven.
That wicket brought in wicketkeeper/batsman Jack Davies (26) to the crease, who provided the adequate support for Banton who went on to reach his ton during their 81-run, sixth-wicket stand.
Having picked up the earlier wicket of Haynes, Peters went on to add the big scalps of Davies and Banton, who was eventually dismissed for a splendid 137 (23x4s, 2x6s), leaving the hosts on 240/7.
It proved a frustrating road to the wrapping up of the tail for the visitors. Luke Hollman played an integral role in the lower-order, hitting a crucial 45 runs and carrying the hosts over the 300-run mark before wickets for Jade de Klerk (1/74), Peters and Hollman’s run out brought an end to England’s first innings on 305, leading by 73 runs.
In their second innings, South Africa suffered a slight hiccup when Thamsanqa Khumalo retired hurt on eight. They managed remaining overs without further disruption, ending the day’s play on 24/0, trailing by 49 runs with Josuha Richards (9*) and Jacob Miltz (5*) at the crease.