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All-rounder takes Hampshire to a home semi-final in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
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After 69 completed games, the first phase of the 2019 Royal London One-Day Cup came to a close on Tuesday evening. Throughout the group stage, every player from each of the 18 counties has been vying to move to the top of the PCA’s coveted One-Day Most Valuable Player Rankings.
Hampshire’s star all-rounder Liam Dawson currently leads the way in this year’s 50-over competition, amassing 127.72 points in his eight performances for the Southampton-based side.
The battle for top spot has been tight all the way through the competition with Dawson taking the lead in his final match of the group stage as Hampshire look to defend their trophy.
MVP points are gained not only for scoring runs and taking wickets, but also for producing match-winning performances. The final standings therefore gives a more accurate impression of the top performers than traditional batting and bowling averages.
For instance, extra points are given for scoring a higher proportion of your teams runs, or for taking top order wickets. Bonuses are also given for catches and captaining the winning team.
The 29-year-old has been leading the Overall MVP and the race for the £10,000 prize since a stunning showing against Surrey on Tuesday 30 April saw him edge out Somerset’s Lewis Gregory which helped claim the PCA Player of the Month for April award. In that game, the England international smashed 108 out of his team’s 307, before taking two wickets for just 39 runs from his 10 overs to help limit Surrey to 254 all out in response.
England Head Coach Trevor Bayliss has admitted Dawson is in contention for the World Cup squad despite not currently being involved against Pakistan, largely due to his remarkably uniform bowling figures throughout Hampshire’s One-Day Cup campaign. His last six games have seen him take 2-41, 2-42, 2-39, 2-39, 2-32 and 3-37 respectively. Such consistency has put Dawson in pole position to claim the One-Day Cup MVP crown on 25 May at Lord’s.
Hampshire have won seven out of their eight One-Day Cup games so far this year, so it’s no surprise to see two of Dawson’s teammates join him in the top 10 at this stage of the competition.
South African batsman Aiden Markram has hit 466 runs at an average of 58.25 to occupy fifth spot, whilst young wicketkeeper Tom Alsop has accrued 335 runs at 47.85 and claimed a competition-high 17 dismissals to move seventh.
Completing the current top three alongside Dawson are Somerset’s Craig Overton and Derbyshire’s Billy Godleman.
The former has taken 17 wickets at a miserly 15.82 runs apiece to help his team finish third in the South Group, and has also contributed handily with the bat. His 168 runs included an impressive 66* during Somerset’s crushing 264-run defeat of Kent on 19 April.
Derbyshire skipper Godleman has also been in the runs and led the One-Day Cup for the majority of the group stage, remarkably amassing a century in three consecutive games against Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire towards the end of April. He ends the eight group games as the country’s top run scorer, however, a late drop-off in form has seen him surpassed by Dawson and Overton in the table.
Godleman won’t have the opportunity to make up the ground on his rivals, since Derbyshire finished fifth in the North Group and therefore won’t progress to the next stage of this year’s competition.
Completing the current top 10 are Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood and Steven Croft, as well as the competition’s leading wicket taker Nathan Sowter, Wayne Parnell and Marchant de Lange of Middlesex, Worcestershire and Glamorgan respectively.
Moving forward, Notts Outlaws and Hampshire have already qualified for the semi-final stage of the competition after topping their groups. Worcestershire host Somerset and Lancashire travel to Lord’s to face Middlesex in the play-offs on Friday to decide who will claim the remaining two semi-final spots with the last four playing on Sunday.
The final of this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup will take place at Lord’s on 25 May.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.