Overton not slow to claim Smith scalp
CRAIG Overton had the last laugh on Steve Smith after he bagged the Australian captain as his maiden Test wicket.
Overton described his England debut in the inaugural day-night Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval as a lifelong dream come true – and it was one capped with a second special moment when he bowled the world’s number one batsman.
The Somerset seamer revealed afterwards there was a further element to his joyful celebration too, because Smith had told him on day one of this second Test that he was slow.
After England had mustered only partial vindication at best of Joe Root’s decision to bowl first, by restricting their hosts to 209 for four at the close, Overton revealed he worked out how best to bowl at Smith.
“There was [a plan] to go straight at him,” he said.
“We thought we could keep him quiet doing that, and then one went through him a little bit quicker, and beat him for pace. He was saying I was slow, so it was nice I beat him for pace.”
Overton’s twin brother and fellow England hopeful Jamie was not in the crowd, recovering back home from injury, but their parents were.
Asked what the occasion will mean to him and his family, he said: “It’s massive. For me personally, my dream was always to play for England – and to play for a Test team against Australia in Australia is special.
“You can’t really put it into words what it means, and it was nice my folks were here to see it. I hope I’ve made them proud.”
Smith, like David Warner, fell narrowly short of 50 in a home innings containing just one half-century so far – from Usman Khawaja (53).
There was predictably, in a series already characterised by verbal spats on and off the pitch, more of the same between Smith and England pace bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Overton was unable to provide much in the way of eyewitness account, though.
“I was on the boundary, so I don’t know too much,” he said.
“It looked like they got under his skin, but he still got 40.” Craig Overton celebrates dismissing Steve Smith