Tom Banton struck 71 off 37 to kick-start the chase before Eddie Byrom blasted 54* off 19 balls on his T20 debut, to keep Somerset alive in the T20 Blast South Group winning by eight wickets.
Last year, Banton played a watching role from the best seat in the house whilst Johann Myburgh motored his way to 100 at home to Essex in the T20 Blast. Tonight it was Banton himself who took centre stage, the more experienced Babar Azam playing the watching role this time.
Tom Banton played some extraordinary shots, but most memorable of all was the ‘switch-hands, nonchalant flick for six over point’ (explain that better if you can).
Tom Curran’s second over went 6444.4, as Banton showed all his youthful audacity and class. The ‘keeper reached 50 off 23 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Meanwhile Azam was on just 12 at the other end, happy to give the 20-year-old the strike.
It’s harsh to call it a drop as Jordan Clark did so well to get there, but the former Lancashire man diving full-stretch did get both hands to a Banton straight drive off Tahir when on 67. Little to worry for Surrey, as just four runs later Banton top edged a pull off Batty to square leg.
71 off 37 balls was a sensational innings, and it set Somerset well on their way.
Azam took Batty for 14 off three balls, but not long later was bowled by Tahir for 43. At 127-2 after 12.2 overs Byrom came in on his T20 debut, and scored at an even better clip than Banton. Byrom played some equally remarkable shots in his even faster scoring innings of 54* off 19 balls.
The man promoted up from the seconds made sure only four Somerset men were required to bat, and eight balls were left to be bowled when 203 was surpassed.
Highlights of both Banton and Byrom’s innings are well worth the watch.
The night started when Somerset won the toss and bowled first. Will Jacks went early to another great Max Waller catch, Jerome Taylor the bowler.
With both Jason Roy and Rory Burns (who scored his maiden test century earlier in the day) on Ashes duty, Sam Curran came in at three, a job he performed to some great effect in a star-studded Kings XI Punjab line-up in the IPL back in May.
Curran hit the first six of the night, Roloef van der Merwe deposited onto the roof of the Colin Atkinson pavilion over long on in the eighth over. He repeated the act off the same bowler in the tenth over, on his way to 50 off 31 balls complete with six fours and two sixes.
He eventually went for 53, when Craig Overton took a great running catch at long on off Waller.
With the ending of the exactly 100 run second wicket partnership, Somerset came back into the game a little, but only briefly. Then Aaron Finch went past his 50 and into overdrive.
Sixes came off Craig Overton, and twice Waller, for the Australian opener before he went for one hit too many and holed out to van der Merwe at long off, departing for 72 in the 16th.
Ollie Pope then took over where Finch left off, making up for a circumspect start by striking Taylor to the boundary with ease, including the most outrageous of reverse scoops over fine leg for six. 20 runs came off the 17th over, overseas bowler Taylor again going the distance.
Tom Abell ignored Taylor for the 19th, instead opting for Jamie Overton whose first ball was hit for the biggest six of the night, with Tom Curran bouncing one on top of the Andy Caddick pavilion way over deep mid-wicket.
Fittingly, Tom Curran finished the innings with a six, himself finishing with 23* off 11, getting the London side up to 203-4.
Waller and van der Merwe were the most economical of the Somerset bowlers, despite being struck for five sixes between them.