Joey Evison said it was “special” to take his maiden first-class five-wicket haul for Notts as he drove the Green and Golds into a commanding position on the penultimate day of the LV=Insurance County Championship clash against Durham.
The 19-year-old, a graduate of the Nottinghamshire Academy, finished with figures of five for 21 as Notts dismissed the hosts for 165, 163 in arrears of the visitors’ first innings total, before extending their lead to 288 the final session.
“It is a special day for me. I am delighted, and my family will be too,” Evison admitted.
“The conditions were definitely favourable for the bowlers, but I have done so much work on my bowling in the winter with Kevin Shine, tweaking a few technical things, and that seems to be paying off.
“Getting a five-fer is one of those things that I can tick off early in my career. I didn’t really know what was going on having got the wickets so quickly, but it is one of those things you have to try and soak in, and I am so happy.”
Such has been the depth in Notts’ fast bowling ranks, Evison has had to bide his time during the 2021 Championship campaign, but the right-armer has taken his First Team opportunities with aplomb, twice claiming the prized scalp of Derbyshire captain Matt Critcheley in his first red-ball appearance of the season before his Durham demolition.
Playing in his fifth first-class match, Evison said he was also helped by the presence of Stuart Broad.
“When you get the opportunity, you’ve got to make it count,” he remarked, “I had eight Championship games not playing in the First Eleven this year, so when I do get the chance I need to make a case for myself.
“There is a lot of competition in the squad, with a lot of quality fast bowlers, so to get into the squad was an ask and I feel like I have shown what I can do with bat and ball.
“As someone who is just starting out, it is surreal playing with someone like Stuart who has over 500 Test wickets, he was offering me all kinds of advice on where to bowl and what the wicket might do.”
As a result of the six bonus points accrued through the game, Nottinghamshire also qualified for Division One of the County Championship, a reward for several months of hard work.
Despite the achievement of a significant target, Evison maintains the incentive to win the game at hand is still strong, particularly given his status as not-out batsman.
“The mood in the dressing room is incredible, it’s always special to enjoy a beer in the dressing room at the end of the day, and it is even sweeter knowing we have achieved the goal of Division One qualification,” he said.
“At the time it was a bit of a relief, as it takes the pressure off, but, on a personal note, I’ve got a good chance to get a score under my belt in the morning, and hopefully put Notts in a good position.
“It’s important to get the win if we can, when you dominate for the majority of the game you want to take all the points, and that will give us momentum into the 50 over competition, as well as the County Championship when it returns.”