Tom Banton has left his mark on this season's Big Bash with a brutal display of batting that will be almost impossible to top.
The Englishman blasted his way to the second-fastest half century in the history of the competition to help guide Brisbane Heat to a 16-run win over Sydney Thunder on Monday night.
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The belligerent right-hander showcased his power with a spectacular 56 off just 19 balls in Brisbane's win at the Sydney Showground Stadium.
The 21-year-old smashed 14 off the first three balls of the match but saved his best for an astonishing over against Thunder bowler Arjun Nair.
The Thunder spinner managed a dot ball off his first delivery but was then forced to endure the ignominy of seeing each of his next five deliveries despatched over the ropes for consecutive sixes.
Banton's extraordinary hitting saw him bring up the half century in just 16 balls, with Windies great Chris Gayle (12 balls) the only man in history to have accomplished the feat quicker.
Viewers were left suitably gobsmacked by the Englishman's heroics.
Cricket's next big thing. Chris Gayle of this decade.— Sayeed Rahman (@Iamsayeedrahman) January 6, 2020
Incredible power hitting such a delightful Performance 🔥 🔥— Puli (@MSDpuli7) January 6, 2020
Insane 🔥🔥— Priyanka 👑 (@PriyankaSRKian) January 6, 2020
Super hitting— Chowkidar Jagannath Pujar (@jagannathpujar) January 6, 2020
Just wow— Pijush Halder (@PijushH30897616) January 6, 2020
Tom Banton's 16-ball half-century is the second-quickest recorded in Big Bash history.— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) January 6, 2020
After this man... pic.twitter.com/Mu38EUhvOu
Banton will be hoping his batting masterclass helps seal a place in England's T20 side for the World Cup in Australia later this year.
The 21-year-old made his first three T20 appearances for England in New Zealand in November 2019.
‘He looks a serious talent’
He got his first call-up to the England ODI squad for their series in South Africa next month, although he was omitted from the T20 party for their matches against the Proteas.
The T20 World Cup in October and November is on Banton's radar and he has gained invaluable experience of Australian conditions in his stint with Brisbane.
'The wickets are a bit different, a bit bouncier to back home," Banton said.
"The Gabba is obviously a good wicket, I've only played there once, which is a bit annoying.
"But i've learnt a lot and it's been good fun."
It has been an up and down BBL series for Banton, who thumped 64 off 36 balls against Melbourne Stars.
He was dismissed for single figures scores in his last two matches before his whirlwind innings on Monday.
"The last two games have been disappointing for me, obviously low scores, but I think the way I play thats probably going to happen a lot throughout my career," Banton said.
He has only faced 77 balls across his five BBL innings but has scored 151 runs at an average of 30 and an impressive strike rate of 196, having hit 13 sixes and ten fours.
Banton's ball striking on Monday was described as amazing by compatriot Alex Hales, who was playing for Thunder.
"He looks a serious talent, he's only a young lad as well, so the world is at his feet," Hales said.
Hales has played 60 T20 games for England though he hasn't been selected since March 2019.
Banton and himself are among the batsmen currently pushing to get back into the squad.
'Your opposite numbers are technically rivals, but to see a young lad come out and play like that on the big stage (on Monday) is brilliant and I'm looking forward to watching him for the next ten years,"' Hales said.