NORTH Devon’s Craig Overton justified his England call up for the second Ashes Test in Adelaide with the big wicket of Steve Smith on day one.
Somerset fast bowler Overton, overlooked for the first Test in Brisbane in favour of Jake Ball, was handed his debut at Adelaide as England sought to get back on level terms in the series.
Australia won the first Test by 10 wickets after skipper Smith’s marathon knock for 141 not to set up victory.
Smith appeared to be at it again as he eased along to 40 in a running total of 161 for three after England won the toss and chose to field.
Overton, wicketless until then, was brought back into the attack and with his first ball removed the number one batsman in the world with an average in the high 50s.
Smith pushed forward to a ball on a decent line and length, but it squeezed between bat and pad on to his stumps.
Mum and dad Mark and Helen Overton were in the stands at Adelaide to see Craig’s first Test wicket.
Club-mates from North Devon CC, where Overton and his twin Jamie learned to play cricket, were also at the game, among them former 1st XI captain Matt Dart.
North Devon chairman Mark Ansell, who hopes to be in Australia later in the series, said it was a proud day for the club.
“What a fantastic way to mark your Test debut with the biggest wicket in world cricket,” said Ansell.
“Steve Smith clean bowled – it really doesn’t get any better than that.
“It is a proud day for all of us at North Devon, who have watched the twins grow as cricketers since they were old enough to hold a bat and ball.
“Mark and Helen must be exceedingly proud. I am so pleased they were able to get out there for the match, along with some of our players.
“Craig is the third North Devonian to feature in the Ashes. David Shepherd as an umpire, Chris Rogers as a player for Australia and now him.
“For a small club like ours that is quite an achievement.
“Now all we need is for Jamie to break into the England side as well – wouldn’t that be something!”