Chris Woakes Takes A Massive Haul Of County FTI MVP Points - 18/04/11
Warwickshire's Chris Woakes has returned the biggest FTI MVP points haul for a single match since June 2008 after a sensational opening game in the LV County Championship (LV=CC). Woakes scored a run-a-ball 129 against Somerset at Taunton before tearing into the Cidermen's much-vaunted batting line-up. He recorded figures of 6-85 and 3-16 as Somerset were beaten by an innings and 382 runs, the largest winning margin in the County Championship since 1921. Woakes earned 63 points for his efforts, the best opening week return since MVP records began and the best of any week since Martin van Jaarsveld's incredible match against Surrey at the Oval nearly three years ago (see ‘View LV=CC 2008 table'), when he scored two hundreds and took 5-33 to earn 81 points.
Worringly for Woakes' FTI MVP competitors, the Warwickshire all-rounder has got stronger every year, with his contributions with the bat becoming increasingly prominent. In 2008, he finished 111th overall and 52nd in the LV=CC FTI MVP. He played 10 championship matches taking 43 wickets and 171 runs. In 2009, he finished 73rd overall and 23rd in the LV=CC FTI MVP. He played all 16 championship matches, taking fewer wickets (37) but scoring 431 runs including 136 against Hampshire. Last year saw him finish 6th overall and 5th in the LV=CC. He played 13 championship matches taking 54 wickets and scoring 431 runs including 136 again against Hampshire.
Another feature of Woakes' statistics is that he generally gets stronger towards the business end of the season. His best return last year came against Kent at Edgbaston at the end of August, where he took 6-52 and 5-45. His best return in 2009 was in early September, when he took nine wickets in the match against Worcester, while his best effort in 2008 was 6-68 and 4-94 in the last round of matches in late September against Glamorgan. His strong finish to last season was no doubt a factor in his selection for England's one-day outfit in which he performed tremendously well, taking a record haul for an English bowler against Australia in ODIs (6-45) and striking some lusty blows to get England home in one of the T20s.
Andre Adams can count himself unlucky not to be stealing more of the headlines after he picked up 61 points in his match against Hampshire at Trent Bridge. The bowling all-rounder took 5-54 and 6-31 as well as scoring 37 off 40 balls at the back end of Nottinghamshire's innings. Adams was the leading wicket taker in the County Championship last year with 68 wickets, which saw him finish third in the LV=CC, a position he finds himself in again behind Woakes in second and Ben Stokes.
Stokes, Woakes and Adams have all returned five-wicket hauls in their first LV=CC match of the season and five-wicket hauls have been a feature of this year's start to the County Championship, which has seen a lot of results. The following bowlers have each taken five or more wickets in an innings this year and all figure prominently in the early stages of this year's FTI MVP: Reece Topley (twice), Rikki Clarke, Adil Rashid (last year's LV=CC FTI MVP winner has already taken two five fors this campaign), Graham Onions, Ian Saxelby, Darren Stevens, Glen Chapple, Tim Groenewald, David Griffiths, Danny Briggs, Gary Keedy, Liam Norwell, James Harris and Jigar Naik.
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