Derbyshire man produces season’s best individual performance to top Rankings.

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Matt Critchley produced the best individual performance of the 2021 domestic season so far to move top of the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings after round two of this year’s LV= Insurance County Championship.

Critchley, 24, was head and shoulders above the rest in scoring 72.1 MVP points during his side’s draw with Worcestershire at the Incora County Ground. It is the highest individual MVP points score of the 18 Championship fixtures to have taken place so far this season.

The Derbyshire all-rounder moved top of the Championship MVP after day one of the second round of fixtures and has remained there since, usurping Durham’s David Bedingham who was the leader after round one.

Critchley is now averaging a huge 54.6 MVP points-per-game this season, having already scored 37.1 MVP points during his side’s draw with reigning champions Essex in their opening fixture.

A 19.7-point gap separates Critchley from Adam Lyth in second, the Yorkshire batsman having earned a cumulative 89.5 MVP points after passing 50 in each of his four innings so far this season, and 100 on two occasions.

Lyth has been in inspired form for the White Rose, being named MVP of the Match in each of his side’s opening two fixtures, including earning 45.7 points during his side’s 200-run win over Kent this weekend.

The final podium position is currently occupied by Sussex’s Ollie Robinson, who stormed to third place after scoring 65.9 MVP points on the back of his career best innings figures of 9-78 against Glamorgan.

Whilst Robinson’s heroics won Sussex the match in Cardiff, Kiran Carlson will feel unlucky not to have been the MVP of the Match after scoring 127 not out and 132 in the same game, but the Glamorgan man does move up to ninth place in the MVP with 63.3 points.

Meanwhile, youngster James Bracey rises to fourth after scoring 118 and a brilliant 83 not out to guide Gloucestershire home against a fancied Somerset side. Bracey earned 54.7 points to become MVP of the Match and has now accumulated 70.2 points this season.

Completing the top five is Hampshire’s Mohammad Abbas, who sits on 70 MVP points for the season following a scintillating spell against Middlesex which saw him claim a five-fer in his first 17 balls of the innings, including a hat-trick.

Abbas, however, was edged out to the MVP of the Match award by teammate Ian Holland, who earned 65.9 MVP points after scoring a career best 146 in the second innings to take the game well and truly out of Middlesex’s reach.

Other MVP highlights from the week include a dazzling display from England’s Ollie Pope, who just missed out on a career best first-class score after making 245 against Leicestershire at the Kia Oval. MVP of the Match Pope scored 45.6 points to move up to 24th position in the current table.

In the same game, Foxes opener Hassan Azad passed his own career best score in compiling an unbeaten 144. Azad, who was Division Two’s leading run-scorer in 2019, is currently 33rd in the MVP with 46.3 points.

Elsewhere, reigning Overall MVP Simon Harmer inspired a remarkable turnaround for reigning champions Essex at Chelmsford.

The off-spinner produced match figures of 10-136 to help his side win by 44 runs after being bowled for 96 by a Chris Rushworth and Brydone Carse-inspired Durham side. Harmer earned 50.3 MVP points in being named MVP of the Match and is now 13th in the table.

It all means that the brand-new PCA MVP is shaping up nicely after week two of this year’s County Championship, with the current top 10 almost evenly split between batters, bowlers and all-rounders going into week three on Thursday.

For more information on the brand-new MVP Rankings, contact the PCA’s Head of Communications Luke Reynolds at luke.reynolds@thepca.co.uk or the PCA’s Communications Executive Peter Clark at peter.clark@thepca.co.uk.

View the brand-new MVP Rankings and keep up-to-date with the latest MVP news by following @pcaMVP on Twitter.

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