DURHAM hero Peter Chase says it will take a little while for his achievement to sink in after taking five wickets on his County Championship debut.
The Irish fast bowler finished with figures of five for 50 as title-chasing Nottinghamshire were beaten before lunch on the final day at the Emirates ICG yesterday.
In doing so, the 20-year-old became only the fourth Durham bowler to notch a “five-fer” in his first game.
And he told the Echo: “I can honestly say, I wasn’t expecting that when the game began!
“I was hoping to do well, but taking five wickets was something that hadn’t even crossed my mind.
“All I wanted to do was to not let myself or the side down.”
In Nottinghamshire’s second innings, Chase dismissed opening batsman Michael Lumb for 58 on the third day and then, in the final session, accounted for dangerman Riki Wessels (90), dismissed Ajmal Shahzad and Luke Fletcher in consecutive balls and had the stubborn Jake Ball taken at third slip.
All those wickets were valuable for Durham as the county recorded a victory which lifted them out of the Division One relegation zone.
But for Chase, one of those wickets was extra special: “To me, the first wicket was most important.
“I’d bowled a few overs in the first innings without getting anyone out and I just wanted to get that first wicket under my belt.
“As soon as I got that, I was able to relax so much more and just concentrate on putting the ball in the right spot.
“Chris Rushworth and John Hastings bowled really well and you sensed Notts would look to get after the other bowlers – me more than anyone!
“But, after that first wicket, I just felt that if I kept on concentrating on doing things right, then there was every chance I’d get more.”
The win means Durham have taken a giant stride towards safety after leapfrogging Lancashire and Middlesex in the race for top-flight survival.
And Chase said: “That’s what made the day all the sweeter for me.
“It goes without saying that to take five wickets in your opening game is ‘dream-come-true’ stuff, but to take them in what was such an important victory for your team makes it even more special.”
H The three other bowlers to take five wickets on debut in the Championship for Durham are James Brinkley, who grabbed 6-32 in a 2001 showdown with Gloucestershire, Liam Plunkett, with 5-53 vs Yorkshire in 2003 and Ryan Buckley, who snatched 5-86 against Surrey last year.