Surrey man Laurie Evans is enjoying a strong spell with Perth Scorchers this winter and did something he’s not done before in an elite fixture before this week…he kept wicket.
Evans has been crucial with the bat for table-topping Scorchers in the tournament so far, scoring 246 runs in 12 matches.
He hit a season-best 69 from 46 balls in Tuesday’s meeting with Melbourne Stars but it wasn’t the second innings of the match that showed us a different side to Evans.
With Josh Inglis and Cameron Bancroft both out of this one, Evans had to play as an emergency wicket keeper – a role he has never performed on such a stage before.
In fact, other than once last summer for the Surrey 2nd XI and once in 2004 for the Club’s U17s there isn’t much history that shows Evans as a top-level wicket keeper.
However, he looked every bit as accomplished as many of his counterparts with a neat performance conceding no byes and three leg byes and taking a stumping off the bowling of Ashton Agar. His performance across both innings earned him the Man of the Match.
With a view to providing this extra option for his sides, Evans did do some work with Ben Foakes and Surrey’s Director of Cricket Alec Stewart last year, offering his services behind the stumps. That’s how he eventually wound up wearing the gloves in a red-ball fixture with Hampshire’s 2nd XI at New Malden.
Scorchers look certain to reach the knockout stages of the Big Bash, where Evans will be hoping to have an impact in taking the tournament’s form side to the title.
With Ollie Pope having deputised ably with the gloves in the recent fourth Test between England and Australia in Sydney, there is a strong stock of wicket keeper batters at Surrey. Ben Foakes and Jamie Smith shared the gloves for the 2021 season, with Foakes missing the middle of the summer due to a hamstring injury.