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Five of the Blast MVP top 10 qualify for Saturday.
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Surrey’s Will Jacks has opened up a healthy lead at the top of the PCA Vitality Blast Most Valuable Player Rankings, after inspiring his side to yet another victory in their 56-run quarter-final win against Kent on Thursday.
The all-rounder, who was shortlisted for the prestigious Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year award on Wednesday, produced another match-winning performance in claiming career best T20 figures of 4-15 from his set of four overs, helping to limit Kent to 113-7 in response to Surrey’s 169-2.
Having already contributed an unbeaten 23 with the bat, Jacks earned a huge 29.28 MVP points for his efforts at the Kia Oval, taking him to a cumulative season total of 152.8 points. That means he goes into Vitality Blast Finals Day on Saturday with a 34-point lead over big-hitting Gloucestershire batsman Ian Cockbain in second position.
Cockbain has been a model of consistency throughout this year’s tournament, his unbeaten 30 on Thursday representing his ninth double figures score in a row in T20s. In making 399 Blast runs this summer, he has earned 118.9 MVP points at an average of 11.89 points-per-game throughout the tournament.
Jacks’ Surrey will meet Cockbain’s Gloucestershire in the first of Saturday’s semi-finals, whilst Lancashire will meet Nottinghamshire in the second fixture after the Outlaws’ dramatic victory over Leicestershire on Thursday evening by virtue of runs scored in the powerplay.
In total, five of the current Blast MVP top 10 will be travelling to Edgbaston this weekend with their respective sides, with sixth placed Alex Davies (110.5 MVP points), ninth placed Chris Dent (108.2 points) and tenth placed Joe Clarke (104 points) joining Jacks and Cockbain in Birmingham.
With two potential fixtures for each player still to play, the opportunity presents itself for one of the chasing pack to put in some outstanding performances this weekend and beat Jacks to the Vitality Blast Player of the Year award, which will be handed out at the NatWest Cricket Awards during Finals Day.
This year’s Finals Day will be in support of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, with both funds for – and awareness of – the charity being raised throughout the day. Professional cricket’s leading non-profit offers life-changing assistance to PCA members and their immediate families when they need it most.
The MVP algorithm was developed by the PCA in conjunction with the players to identify the match-winning performers in any given fixture. On top of traditional batting and bowling averages, bonus points are awarded for key disciplines such as scoring quickly, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches in the field.
The Vitality Blast MVP will follow in the footsteps of Bob Willis Trophy MVP Craig Overton and Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy MVP Georgia Adams in winning a domestic award this summer, whilst the cross-format Overall MVP will also be identified on Saturday evening.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.