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Pace ace Morne Morkel hails Dillon Pennington

By Matt Maher | Cricket | Published:

Former South Africa paceman Morne Morkel has predicted a bright future for ex-Shropshire all-rounder Dillon Pennington – admitting he was ‘blown away’ after seeing him play.

Dillon Pennington

Morkel, who claimed more than 300 Test wickets for the Proteas, was impressed by Pennington’s performance for Worcestershire in Surrey’s title-clinching match at New Road.

Pennington, part of the Rapids’ Vitality Blast winning squad, caused a few nerves in the Surrey dressing room with his fiery bowling on the final day before they secured a three-wicket success.

Morkel’s comments followed on from the praise heaped on the Shrewsbury player in similar fashion by New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson after his fine bowling in the recent game against Yorkshire at Scarborough. Former Wrekin College student Pennington is still only 19 and his main ambition at the start of the season was to play regular second team cricket.

But the academy product, part of England Under-19’s World Cup squad in the winter, has seized his chance after injuries to skipper Joe Leach and Josh Tongue opened the first-team door.

Morkel said: “It’s the first time I’ve seen or heard about him. I was sitting on the balcony and asked Vikram Solanki about him and he told me Dillon was only 19 years-old.

“I was blown away by him. He’s got a lot of potential and has a really bright future and in time he will pick up experience and all those sort of things.

“He just needs to play cricket now and learn the skills of four-day cricket, the amount of overs, the workload, those sort of things. I think he has got a really bright future ahead of him.”

Worcestershire head coach Kevin Sharp said: “He is a big strong lad. He’s bowled two or three unbelievable spells.

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“I look back at Scarborough, the way he bowled at Kane Williamson was like watching Test cricket for me.

“We all said that and he looked like getting him out all the time – one of the top players in the world.”

“Then against Surrey on the final day, you think ‘wow, this is a lad who has really got a really bright future’.

“He is going to be inconsistent as well. He is only young. Consistency often comes with experience so we can’t expect that every time he goes out and bowls.

“He won’t get it right at times so we have to patient with that. But he is a handful. I’m glad I’m not batting against him!

“He is a big strong boy, a fit lad, and it is great to see. We are blessed with some of our bowling talent.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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