29th Match, Taunton, May 17 - 20, 2024, County Championship Division One
(T:189) 554 & 194/2
(f/o) 178 & 564

Somerset won by 8 wickets


Tom Banton, James Rew drive Somerset with twin centuries

Uplifting partnership between young batters gives hosts control on opening day

James Rew and Tom Banton put on a double-century stand, Somerset vs Kent, County Championship, Taunton, May 17, 2024

James Rew and Tom Banton put on a double-century stand  •  Getty Images

Somerset 440 for 7 (Banton 133, Rew 114, Lammonby 69) vs Kent
Aggressive centuries from Tom Banton and James Rew helped Somerset pile up 440 for seven after losing the toss on the opening day of the Vitality County Championship First Division match with Kent at Taunton.
Banton contributed a career-best 133, off 174 balls, with 19 fours and two sixes, while Rew stroked his way to 114, off 145 deliveries, with 12 fours and three sixes in a reminder of the form that made him one of the most talked about players in Championship cricket last season.
The pair added 205 for the fifth wicket in 42.4 overs. Earlier, Tom Lammonby hit 69 as Kent's seamers found it tough going on a belting batting surface at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
An entertaining morning session ended with Somerset 133 for three from 32 overs. Their innings got off to a poor start when Sean Dickson slashed at a wide ball from Beyers Swanepoel and edged through to wicketkeeper Harry Finch for a fourth-ball duck.
Soon Matt Renshaw and Lammonby were making batting look comfortable in warm sunshine, Lammonby striking three fours in a Swanepoel over, two of them to a very short boundary on the motorway side of the ground.
The pair brought the fifty up in the 12th over and Renshaw celebrated by pulling a six off George Garrett before, with the total on 75, he fell for 40, caught at mid-on mistiming a drive off the same bowler.
Andy Umeed looked in good touch, a glorious straight-driven boundary off Garrett helping to bring the hundred up before Lammonby went to his fifth Championship half-century of the season off 72 balls, with 10 fours.
It came as a surprise when, with the total on 116, Umeed edged a defensive shot off Swanepoel straight to Marcus O'Riordan at first slip and departed for 25. Lammonby was unbeaten on 54 at lunch, having been joined by Banton.
Both played positively at the start of the afternoon session, taking the score to 172 before Lammonby got a bottom edge onto his stumps, attempting to pull a boundary off Grant Stewart.
It proved the only success for the visitors before tea as Rew launched his innings with three fours in quick succession off Garrett, who had to leave the field after two balls of his 11th over, which was completed by Joey Evison.
By then Somerset were 209 for four and Kent, without Jack Leaning because of a hand injury, were about to turn to the off-spin of O'Riordan. Rew greeted him with a six over mid-wicket before Banton moved to his third half-century of the summer with his tenth four, off Evison, having faced 79 balls.
Rew followed to his second fifty of the season, a fluent effort off 61 balls, and celebrated with a six over long-on off O'Riordan as he overtook his batting partner. Banton responded by clearing the ropes off the same bowler and at tea he was unbeaten on 66, while Rew had contributed 63 to Somerset's 265 for four.
The final session saw Banton survive a sharp chance to backward point off Stewart just after his stand with Rew went to three figures. It was all the good fortune he required to reach a 150-ball ton that meant a huge amount, having worked hard to try and match his early success as a one-day player in red ball cricket.
Banton's only other Championship hundred came as a concussion substitute against Essex at Chelmsford in 2022 and last season he played just one innings in the competition.
After celebrating with arms outstretched, he raced past his previous top score of 126. Rew followed him to a hundred with his 12th four, clipped over mid-wicket off Stewart after Kent had taken the second new ball at 349 for four.
The left-hander had faced 128 balls, timing the ball sweetly. Banton departed shortly afterwards, caught behind attempting to uppercut a short ball from Stewart.
Rew also fell to the new ball, lbw to Evison, falling across his stumps to give Kent a second bowling point. Craig Overton was dismissed for a rapid 23, but Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory was unbeaten on 26 at stumps, having passed 4,000 first class runs.