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‘The ball was there to hit and I just hit it to the wrong place’ – Jamie Overton rues the ton that got away

After falling agonisingly in need of a Check century on debut, then returning with a fiery spell within the ultimate session, Jamie Overton was refreshingly philosophical on the finish of day three of the third Check at Headingley.

Each efforts contributed to England’s trigger, guaranteeing a primary innings of 360 for a lead of 31, earlier than reducing New Zealand right down to 168 for 5 late on. The vacationers led by 137 at stumps, with in-form batters Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell on the crease.

After an preliminary spell of 5 overs for 17, Overton got here out after tea and instantly took the wicket of Tom Latham, who had seemed again in type in reaching 76 earlier than succumbing to a misjudgement outdoors off stump from around the wicket. Overton then hit Devon Conway within the head with the very subsequent ball, setting the tone for what was a participating four-wicket session for England.

Nevertheless the ache earlier of falling for 97 earlier within the day was the principle level of dialog when it got here to Overton’s work on Saturday. He was crestfallen after nervously waving at a large supply from Trent Boult which nestled into the arms of Mitchell at first slip. By stumps, nevertheless, he had nearly made his peace with the three runs he didn’t get.

“Clearly I used to be very upset getting out on 97,” he mentioned. “However me and Jonny put us in an incredible place [a partnership of 241 – a new record for the seventh wicket]. And that knock from Broady (42) coming in and getting us right into a lead has put us in an incredible place going into the second innings. It was clearly disappointing however I really feel I’ve contributed to the crew greater than sufficient.”

Understandably, Overton didn’t get one of the best evening’s sleep on Friday, having are available on 89 not out, and that mirrored in a quiet begin the next morning, during which he solely managed eight runs within the 40 minutes earlier than his dismissal.

“I used to be tossing and turning for quite a bit,” he admitted. “I am all the time going to be a bit of bit nervous however I felt like I used to be in type of in an incredible place this morning and simply did not fairly recover from the road. The ball was there to hit and I simply hit it to the improper place.”

Bairstow, who was ultimately dismissed for 162, accompanied Overton for a portion of his gradual walk-off, placing his arm round him and providing some consoling phrases: “He simply mentioned, soak all of it up, you performed an incredible knock.”

Overton was good by these phrases come the night. England’s center session lacked a bit of one thing, permitting New Zealand to maneuver into a robust place of 125 for one at tea, and a lead of 94. With the assistance of the group, they responded with much more urgency and endeavour to take 4 for 43 within the 18.5 overs they had been capable of get in earlier than the rain.

“We chatted at tea that doubtlessly the afternoon session wasn’t that nice for us,” Overton mentioned. “We clearly did not go for a great deal of runs however we did not really feel like we bowled and fielded the way in which we needed to, so popping out after tea it was simply attempting to get pleasure from ourselves, put the New Zealand guys beneath strain, and that is what we did. The group clearly bought concerned a bit of bit and we tried to gee them up as a result of that all the time helps us as nicely.”

There may be nonetheless work to be performed, particularly given how Mitchell and Blundell have carried out – on this match alone, by no means thoughts the sequence, with 109 and 55 within the first innings, respectively. Overton, although, feels England are forward.

“I feel that final session put us proper within the field seat. We want to return on the market on the finish however could not fairly get on the market with the with the covers needing time to get them off.

“However yeah, we’re in an incredible place going into tomorrow and hopefully we are able to get the 2 early wickets, the 2 key wickets. However we really feel like we’re in place. And if we are able to get these two early, then we’re in an incredible place to win the sport.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah is a sportswriter for ESPNcricinfo

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