21-year-old batsman Tom Banton became the youngest English cricket player to score a half-century in a T20 match as Pakistan and England drew the first of their three T20 series after rain prevented the match from finishing.

England scored 131 runs for six wickets as the rain started to fall heavily around Old Trafford and the weather meant Pakistan wasn’t able to get to the crease for their innings.

But the match wasn’t entirely uneventful as a young Banton smashed 71 runs balls in a sensational batting display which included four fours and five sixes before he was dismissed after 42 balls by Shadab Khan.

Banton, playing just his ninth international match for England across all formats, opened the batting for England and quickly got to his task hitting a well-timed four to the leg side boundary off his sixth delivery faced.

The 21-year-old then grew into the game, paced his way to 20 runs from 19 balls, before accelerating his run rate with a huge six from a sweep-slog shot which set the tone for the remainder of his innings.

Banton showcased his tremendous potential for the T20 format for the remainder of his innings, combining slightly risky big hits into the leg side with the occasional flick over Pakistan wicket-keeper, Mohammad Rizwan, to quickly race to 50 runs from 33 balls and to set England up for a decent total.

Banton eventually fell for 71, driving high from a Shabab Khan delivery for Pakistan fielder Imad Wasim to catch easily.

Pakistan then turned up the pressure on England’s batsmen, taking three more wickets for just 14 runs as England crawled to 131 before the rain came and halted play.

The match was eventually abandoned at 9 p.m due to bad light which suited England as Pakistan just started to gain momentum heading into the final stages of England’s innings.

Following his emphatic display at the crease, Banton said: “It was tricky, to begin with, they bowled really well and I struggled but I got a few away and that gives you the confidence to keep going from there.

“I’m trying not to think too far ahead, we’ve got another game on Sunday and I’d like to try and do well again there and contribute to a winning performance.”

Speaking on his future with England and the possibility of becoming a regular in the T20 and ODI sides, Banton said: “The white ball side is so good that I’m not going to break into it at the moment. And I don’t like to look too far ahead,” he said when asked about the prospects of making England’s T20 squad next year.

“There is a lot of cricket before then. I just want to score as many runs as I can to make it difficult for the selectors not to pick me.”

The second match of the three-match series takes place at Old Trafford tomorrow (Sunday, August 30) and will be the first live cricket match to be broadcast on the BBC for 21 years.

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