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Players from last season’s top two occupy top four spots in Bob Willis Trophy Rankings.
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Players from last season’s top two Specsavers County Championship sides are currently dominating the PCA’s Most Valuable Player Rankings, but the chasing pack aren’t far behind as we move towards round four of the Bob Willis Trophy.
Essex and Somerset each have two representatives inside the top four of the BWT MVP, and the bowlers are dominating as Simon Harmer, Jamie and Craig Overton and Jamie Porter are leading the way in terms of individual performances in domestic cricket in 2020.
Harmer maintains his hold at the top of the MVP table having produced another match-winning performance during Essex’s thrilling three-wicket win at Sussex. The remarkably prolific off-spinner took his third five-wicket haul (5-54) of the season to claim 45.15 MVP points as the key performer at Hove.
Despite his huge 36-point lead at the top, the South African will be feeling the pressure from Somerset man Jamie Overton, who smashed a scintillating 120 from number 10 at Edgbaston to be named MVP of the Match in their fixture against Warwickshire with 30.9 points.
Frustration for Somerset, but what a knock it was from Jamie Overton! 🔥
😮 120 from number 10
💥 15 fours, 6 sixes
👏 A maiden first-class ton
Jamie receives 30.9 MVP points and remains inside the Overall MVP top five 📈
— PCA MVP Rankings (@pcaMVP) August 18, 2020
Below Jamie sits his brother Craig, who has enjoyed a remarkable start to the season with the ball, whilst Porter has shot up to fourth position thanks to his match figures of 8-88 claimed in tandem with Harmer.
Hampshire’s Ian Holland completes the top five at the conclusion of the third round of Bob Willis Trophy fixtures, having had a match to remember in victory against Surrey as he claimed a maiden first-class five-fer with career best figures of 6-60. Holland now has 84.5 MVP points for the season.
The MVP algorithm is used to identify the match-winners and key influencers in any given fixture by taking into account important contributions such as scoring a high proportion of your team’s runs, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches in the field.
When each individual player’s total points are aggregated at the end of the season, three domestic MVPs will be named for 2020: one for the Bob Willis Trophy, one for the Vitality Blast and a third cross-format Overall MVP.
Essex’s Harmer is the current holder of the Overall MVP title after he beat off the competition to win with 609 MVP points in 2019 – 67 clear of the nearest challenger which was Hampshire’s Kyle Abbott.
The number one performer this week in terms of MVP points scored was Yorkshire new boy Dawid Malan.
Despite the on/off rain at Headingley, Malan struck his maiden first-class double ton against Derbyshire, finishing with 219 scored at a remarkable strike rate of 90. Having made 55% of his team’s runs in the weather-affected fixture, Malan accumulated 48.74 MVP points, moving him up to ninth in the standings.
Though he will take his good form into England’s bio-secure bubble at the Emirates Old Trafford ahead of the T20Is against Pakistan, Malan could be caught in the domestic Rankings as he will miss the next round of Bob Willis Trophy fixtures.
The remainder of the players inside the current top ten had quiet weeks by their standards, with Tim Bresnan (6th position), Oliver Hannon-Dalby (7th), Ryan Higgins (8th) and Chris Cooke (10th) occupying those spots for the moment.
Nottinghamshire’s Ben Slater will feel as if he can break into the top positions before long. The left-hander backed up his 172 in the opening fixture with 142 more against Lancashire at Trent Bridge – he was duly named the MVP for that game with 29 points and currently sits 13th in the table, just eight points outside the top 10.
He, ninth-placed Malan and tenth-placed Cooke will have a job on their hands if they are to move up, though, as this year’s MVP crown looks set to be won by a bowler as they currently occupy each of the top eight positions in the Rankings.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.