BY MARCUS HOOK
The emergence of Surrey’s Conor McKerr as a fast bowler of match-winning ability was the most eye-catching feature of last week’s innings and 125-run trouncing of Nottinghamshire at the Oval.
McKerr took seven wickets for just 47 runs in the match as the Division One leaders skittled Nottinghamshire for 101 and 149 to record their seventh successive win in the Specsavers County Championship and their fifth, this term, by an innings.
The performance of McKerr summed up just why the Oval outfit are overwhelming favourites to be crowned champions. In just his seventh first-class game, and third of a season in which he has had to overcome a side strain, the 20-year-old added yet more power to an already deep and beautifully-balanced squad.
“Having Morne Morkel to learn from both on and off the field is obviously a big bonus for Conor,” said Surrey captain Rory Burns. “But he is also around a lot of very good people at this club, and he’s still got a lot to learn at his age and relatively little experience.
“It was great to see the way he bowled against Notts, with pace and bounce, and he’s got a lot of energy and is clearly a fine prospect. He’s worked hard on the sidelines with his fitness and it’s only a good thing for him that he’s been able to come in and play alongside guys like Morne and in a confident team.”
Tom Curran also paid tribute to McKerr’s performance at the end of a game which confirmed he is himself back to full fitness himself after a run of white-ball games following a month’s absence in July in which he too had to shake off a side injury.
“I am very pleased for Conor, because he was out for a while with injury and has had to work hard to get back to where he is now,” said Curran. “My own season has been a bit stop-start, but the way we are playing in the championship is testament to how hard the whole squad has been working throughout this summer.
“As a group, we have felt for some time now that there would be something special around the corner and so, for that reason, I think these run of victories have been coming for a while.”