SOMERSET wicketkeeper Tom Banton top scored as England's Under-19s maintained their 100 per cent record in the Tri-Series in Potchefstroom with an eight-wicket win over South Africa, writes Richard Walsh.

Will Jacks and Harry Brook also scored half-centuries, while Warwickshire opener Liam Banks chipped in with 37 in an opening stand of 109 with Banton, who hit 74 from 80 balls, with 10 fours and a six.

But the wicketkeeper-batsman credited the bowling performance, led by spin twins Jacks and Prem Sisodiya, for setting up the win.

South Africa got off to a flier with an opening stand of 96 between Matthew Breetzke and Jiveshan Pillay, but Jacks broke the stand by having Pillay caught behind by Banton, who later collected a stumping and a second catch.

Sisodiya, the left-arm spinner from Glamorgan, bowled his 10 overs straight through to claim 2-43, while Surrey all-rounder Jacks earned 3-41.

Essex quick Jack Plom then returned to end with 3-47, including Breetzke caught by Brook for 101, and Worcestershire seamer Adam Finch also claimed a wicket as the South Africans posted 248-9.

Then it was over to Banks and Banton, who said: “I spoke to a few people before the game and agreed that I had to stop putting so much pressure on myself.

“So I went out and played freely, and found that was the easiest way.

"Then Brooky and Jacksy knocked off the rest – Brooky has been batting so well on this tour, which is so good to see.”

The Yorkshire right-hander ended unbeaten on 63 from 50 balls, his third half century in as many innings giving him 204 runs for the Tri-Series at an average of 102.

Jacks made 71 not out from 53, his second half century in four innings, and that was enough to secure the man of the match award with his bowling also taken into account.

England won by eight wickets with almost nine overs to spare, but need to produce one more big performance in Sunday’s final to take the Tri-Series title – which would be the perfect tonic ahead of their departure for the ICC Under-19s World Cup in New Zealand next month.

“It’s been a great feeling to put some wins together, especially after what we went through against India in the summer,” added Banton, who has relished touring with his Somerset team-mates Fin Trenouth and Tom Lammonby – both of whom were rested today.

“The first win against South Africa was one of the best feelings I’ve had in cricket, because we played so well in the field and put so much pressure on them.

"Fin played a big part in that, and I think we maybe missed him a bit today.”