Sussex Sharks T20 ace Laurie Evans writes exclusively for Sussex Newspapers
Winning the T20 competition with Warwickshire back in 2014, and being man of the match that day, was probably the highlight of my career. I’ll always have that day to look back on fondly, so hopefully I can recreate it this year.
There’s a bit of time until Finals Day but I’m feeling relaxed, and quietly confident. Having been fortunate enough to have played a couple of games at Finals Day before, I’m excited to get out there again and hoping to lean on my past experience to bring me through.
For our young players, it’s a great day and a great occasion but sometimes you can feel that self- doubt if you’ve never played in front of that many people. But I think from what we’ve seen in the group stages, we have young players who really relish that environment, and will hopefully really enjoy the day and the big crowd – there’s nothing better.
It’s a long day, it’s a little later in the season than before so I imagine it will be a bit colder – so bring some extra layers! Pace yourselves with the drink, but when Delilah and Sweet Caroline come on, give it the absolute kitchen sink! Every time I hear those songs, I think back to the win in 2014 – the noise and the crowd was unforgettable.
The atmosphere was great, but I have so many overriding memories from that day. You’d think lifting the trophy was my main memory from, but actually it’s dropping the catch. I dropped Karl Brown on one or two and he went on to smash 50 off 20 balls, so that made things closer than they should have been – but at least it made for an exciting game!
We’ve had some exciting games this season as well, and it’s been a great squad to be a part of. On a personal note, it’s been so satisfying to hit six half-centuries, even though I’ve said all tournament I don’t feel like I’ve been in amazing form.
The one game I’ve felt like I played really well in was Surrey away. There were a few factors – good wicket, good situation to bat and I was allowed to express myself.
I cannot wait to come back to Sussex
Evans guides Sharks to Finals Day
I think coming in at three, which is a new role for me, is maybe why I haven’t played at my absolute free-flowing best. I’ve always been the guy coming in in the last few overs and giving it a whack but this year I’ve sort of been the guy everyone bats around. I’ve never really done that before but I’ve really relished my role and enjoyed it.
We can’t wait for Finals Day, it should be a great day. There have been some great moments so far this season… the night out after we beat Durham was pretty special!
In the quarter-final, although it wasn’t the most glamourous innings in the world, there were a lot of nerves about, a lot of people desperate to win that game. When you stand up in a game like that, it’s special, and that was probably my highlight. We now want to go that final step.
I’ve got some new socks that I’ve worn every game and they seem to have worked, but I’m not a superstitious person! I will relax in the build-up, do the same warm-up routine as always, and go out and enjoy the day. I hope the Sharks fans come home happy!