MVP t20 Underway! - 07/06/11
Hold on to your hats cricket fans the Friends Life t20 (FLt20) is here and the next six weeks promise to be fast, furious, and statistically fascinating as the players seek to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the 20-over format. Talking of boundaries – there have been hundreds of them over the course of the first few rounds of matches with Hampshire Royals’ Michael Lumb leading the way.
Lumb looks back to his best ball-striking form after a rollercoaster couple of years which have seen him hit the heights of World T20 success and plumb the depths of being dropped from the Royals’ team which won the competition last summer. In 2009 Lumb’s domestic t20 performances saw him finish 8th in the MVP rankings after scoring 442 runs at a strike rate of 1.61 runs-per-ball including 3 fifties and 124 off 69 balls against Essex. He scored over a quarter of Hampshire’s t20 runs that year nudging the England selectors so hard that he was thrown in at the top of England’s order. 2010, by contrast, was Lumb’s summer horribilis. He managed just 76 runs from 7 knocks only reaching double-figures 3 times with a best of 21. Happily for Hampshire and England Lumb has rediscovered his mojo smashing 124 runs in his three matches so far at a strike rate of 1.82 with scores of 53 off 33 balls versus Somerset, 36 off 24 balls against Surrey and 35 off 11 against Kent in a 5-over thrash. Incredibly he has scored over a hundred runs in boundaries (more than 82% of his competition runs) with 15 fours and 7 maximums.
Ireland Captain Will Porterfield is in second spot in the FLt20 FTI MVP with 155 runs at a strike rate of 1.55. An experienced one-day and T20 cricketer, Porterfield has already notched fifties in good time against Durham and Yorkshire hitting 21 fours and two sixes in the process. He is also likely to earn valuable FTI MVP points for his fielding, which is an important string to his bow. So far he has just the one catch but watch for the run outs as the campaign progresses.
Kent’s Darren Stevens is one of the county game’s most consistent t20 performers. He finished 10th in last summer’s FPt20 FTI MVP and first the year before and is already up to third this year after scoring 68 off 41 against Somerset and 45 off 16 against Hampshire in his two games. 113 runs at a strike rate of 1.98 with 10 fours and 7 sixes has earned the Kent all-rounder 39 FTI MVP points. He has yet to contribute with the ball due to a shoulder injury.
Interestingly, five of the top nine cricketers in the FLt20 FTI MVP are overseas players. Roelof van der Merwe heads that list in fourth spot after settling in quickly into the Somerset side while Essex’s Scott Styris is one place further back in fifth. Johann Botha, David Hussey and Rana Naved are the other leading overseas lights. Contrast this with the overall FTI MVP which has only Rana and Chaminda Vaas in 9th and 8th respectively.
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To keep up to date with the England FTI MVP, visit www.thepca.co.uk. The leader board will update after the last game finishes of any round of matches.