England trail by 460 runs with all 10 first innings wickets in hand.
That’s right, he did it. He bloody did it. Years of hard toil on our part (and, presumably, some on his) as we worked tirelessly to have our hero taken seriously around the world have been vindicated on a wet afternoon at the Oval. It is the stuff of legend.
Steven Peter Devereux Smith, Australia’s youngest Test centurion for 16 years. Read it and weep, doubters. Read it and weep, mean Sun Herald man. It was an innings of beauty and panache, of style and substance, and a triumphant coming of age.
Our Devereux’s series has been a bit up and down; a couple of good innings at Trent Bridge and Old Trafford mixed in with a few somewhat iffy performances, which culminated in him being out bowled on the hook in Durham. After the India debacle – when he saved a few of Australia’s blushes with some swashbuckling repair jobs, only to be dropped for the Ashes tour and left out of the Champions Trophy squad in favour of Mitchell Marsh – he needed a hundred to firmly put the question marks away. And he rose, salmon-like, to the occasion. Now, there is no doubt; Devereux is here to stay.
The 51allout bunker is awash with the sound of celebration. It’s time to tuck into the gin cabinet and raise our glass to Australia’s next Test captain; oh yes, the Crusade has not yet reached Jerusalem.