Craig Overton has opted to play on in the third Test in Perth despite being diagnosed with a cracked rib. Overton, who was struck in the ribs while batting against Pat Cummins in the second innings of the second Test in Adelaide, sustained a further blow in a similar area when he dived to take a caught-and-bowled chance on the second day in Perth.
He was subsequently sent for a scan ahead of play on the third day, which ESPNcricinfo understands showed the crack. It is thought it was caused by the bouncer but aggravated when he attempted to take the catch.
While such an injury would usually rule a bowler out of the rest of the game – and potentially series – Overton opted to take some painkillers and, after attempting to bowl in the nets before play, declared himself fit for action.
While Overton had no more success than any of his seam-bowling colleagues during the first two sessions of a tough day in the field for England, he impressed with the probing length he bowled and his enthusiasm in the field. At one stage he hit the stumps with a direct hit while fielding in the ring and at another he became entangled in the boundary rope as he attempted a desperate, diving save in a vain attempt to cut off a boundary.
And while this was a day on which England’s grip on the Ashes loosened considerably, Overton’s bravery and determination at least offered some encouragement for England supporters.