Bancroft banishes century demons
David Robinson watches an Australian hit form with the bat, just a few months before the Ashes
Arelieved Cameron Bancroft described his first century for Gloucestershire as “a monkey off my back”. And no wonder. It came at the 29th attempt, the number of Championship innings the talented Australian had played in two spells with the county when reaching three figures against Kent at the Brightside Ground.
So, just for good measure, Bancroft decided to make it into a double hundred, helped in no small part by Matt Taylor, who contributed a career-best 36 to a last-wicket stand of 111 in Gloucestershire’s first innings of 385.
Opener Bancroft carried his bat for 206 not out, six short of a career-best, in his final appearance before returning home.
This summer the 24-year-old has stayed longer, but had a best of 69 not out against Sussex until finally justifying his deservedly glowing reputation.
Bancroft said: “I always knew I had it in me to play this type of innings in England and it’s great to take some form into the new season back in Australia.
“County cricket has proved tougher than I expected and I have had to make some adjustments to my game. At home the ball swings, but it doesn’t nip around off the seam as much.
“Playing fast bowling on testing pitches is something I wanted to get better at and I think that has been the case. I’m delighted to have posted a really significant score and got that monkey off my back.
“I certainly hope to return in the future. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me.”
Bancroft was full of praise for Taylor after they had produced a record lastwicket stand for Gloucestershire in matches against Kent.
“How good was Matty?” he said. “Holy cow! He was brilliant. We needed a partnership after letting a strong position slip and he batted beautifully, showing guts and class.
“I wasn’t even thinking about a double century when he came in and it was thanks to his support that I got there.
“A lot of credit also has to go to Chris Dent. He played really well and helped take the pressure off me.”
Two-ton titan: Cameron Bancroft hits out on his way to a double century