ANTHONY McGrath believes Sam Cook still has plenty of space to grow after the fast bowler pegged Somerset back with a five-wicket haul in the Bob Willis Trophy final.

Cook celebrated his 100th first-class wicket in just his 34th appearance during his 5-76, including century-maker Eddie Byrom.

And Essex’s head coach McGrath reckons the 23-year-old is nowhere near at his peak yet, and can challenge for England call-ups in the future if he continues on his upward trajectory.

“He was superb and I am delight that he got a five-for in the end so he can get the accolades,” McGrath said.

“I have seen him bowl a lot worse and get more wickets.

“I thought he and Jamie Porter bowled really well yesterday. They tested the defence, beat the outside edge and had a couple turned down.

“Sam has got better and better for us. He is still only a young guy and is developing into a really fine bowler.

“He is improving all the time and in England conditions he is really effective. He is learning to swing the ball and has a bit more development physically as well.

“If he keeps taking wickets then he can put himself in the frame for further honours.”

Essex, led by Cook, managed to fire with the second new ball to bowl Somerset out for 301 – having been 266 for five.

And McGrath was impressed with the fightback for his bowling attack.

“The conditions yesterday suited bowling,” McGrath said.

“At 139 for five we were looking to knock them over for under 200 but credit goes to Overton and Byrom for the way they batted.

“The way we bowled in that last session means we are well in the game.”