Somerset’s Tom Banton and George Bartlett have now been away in Dubai with the England Young Lions for a fortnight during which time they have played two one day matches and been training hard.
The Lions have enjoyed mixed fortunes on the tour so far and lost heavily in their first match against UAE despite Tom making 26 and George 22. In the next game however they beat their hosts by three wickets at the ICC Stadium.
In that match batting first the UAE were limited to 231 for eight from their 50 overs, which included two wickets for George from five overs of his off spin and two catches for Tom who was ‘keeping.
In reply the Young Lions found themselves 42 for 4, when George was joined by Euan Woods with whom he added 102 for the fifth wicket. He was out for a valuable 44 as the side reached their target with three wickets and nine overs to spare.
Tom, who appeared in a number of Second XI games in the summer and is now on the Somerset Academy, said: “The tour is going really well and we have been training hard everyday since arriving. We have also played two 50 over games and won one and lost one.
“We’re now moving onto red ball cricket which starts tomorrow and we have a three day game at the stadium that starts on Monday next week.”
George, who signed a one year full time contract with Somerset after graduating from the Academy, added: “We have had two good weeks here and been very busy working with some good coaches such as Paul Collingwood and Graeme Thorpe.
“I am really looking forward to the three-day game starting on Monday, which should be a good challenge for the team.”