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Lancashire man the standout performer in this year’s tournament.
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Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood has claimed the 2019 PCA One-Day Cup Most Valuable Player crown, holding off a late challenge from Somerset’s Craig Overton to do so.
While Overton’s contribution throughout the campaign helped his side to lift the trophy at Lord’s, the Lancastrian has been peerless during this year’s competition. No player has taken more wickets than Mahmood’s 28 and only former South African international Morne Morkel has recorded a better bowling average.
It’s been something of a breakthrough year for Mahmood, who has bowled with remarkable consistency throughout the competition. His efforts helped Lancashire all the way to the semi-final, where they were overcome by eventual runners-up Hampshire.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old predictably performed in that game, taking three top-order Hampshire wickets to give the Red Rose a fighting chance. Unfortunately for the England Lions seamer, it wasn’t enough to see his side through to the final.
Overton, despite being unable to usurp Mahmood during Saturday’s final, has enjoyed a fine campaign with both bat and ball. The fierce all-rounder picked up 20 wickets and hit 213 runs at an average of 71 to help his side to pick up their first domestic trophy in 14 years.
His performance against Kent on 19 April was a particularly memorable one. The 25-year-old smashed 66 off just 36 balls before taking 5 for 18, helping Somerset to a crushing 264-run victory in the process.
Hampshire’s Liam Dawson and James Vince were unable to face Overton in Saturday’s final after they were called up to England’s 15-man World Cup squad earlier in the week.
Although the pair will be thrilled to be taking part in the World Cup, it was a missed opportunity for both in terms of the domestic 50-over competition. Dawson and Vince finished third and sixth respectively in the One-Day Cup MVP, meaning a strong performance in the final could have meant either taking the crown.
Dawson was one of this year’s most consistent performers, returning figures of 3-37, 2-32, 2-39, 2-39, 2-42 and 2-41 in consecutive matches earlier on in the season. He also contributed 274 runs with the bat, including a sumptuous 108 during an impressive victory over Surrey at The Kia Oval.
It’s fair to say that Vince played himself into England’s World Cup squad with his performances in the 2019 One-Day Cup. His 509 runs at 72.71 were bettered only by Derbyshire’s Billy Godleman and Lancashire’s Steven Croft, who both played more games in the competition than the Hampshire man.
His performance against Gloucestershire on 26 April in particular will long be remembered by all who witnessed it. Vince smashed 190 of his team’s 330 runs that day at a strike rate of 123.38, including five sixes.
The PCA MVP formula rewards players for match-winning performances. For example, batsmen will earn bonus points for hitting a high proportion of their team’s runs. In Vince’s case, he hit 58% of his team’ total against Gloucestershire, helping him to accrue a massive 45.74 MVP points in the process.
Other ways to earn bonus points include taking catches and top-order wickets, as well as being captain of the winning side.
Sandwiched between Dawson and Vince, and completing this year’s One-Day Cup MVP top five, are the aforementioned Croft and Worcestershire’s Wayne Parnell.
Croft’s 516 runs at 73.71 took Lancashire to within touching distance of the final. The 34-year-old regularly contributed runs at number 3, and was unlucky not to have two more centuries to his name after falling for 97 and 99 on separate occasions.
Parnell has been a revelation for the Pears this year, regularly doing the damage using his ferocious brand of fast bowling. Only Surrey’s Morne Morkel and eventual MVP Mahmood managed a lower bowling average than Parnell’s 18.86, and no player in the competition was responsible for more five-wicket hauls than the South African.
We now know the final top 10 for this year’s One-Day Cup MVP, but the fixtures will continue to come thick and fast for each of the 18 counties, starting with the next round of the County Championship on Monday 27 May.
For now, though, the 2019 Royal London One-Day Cup has come to an end with Somerset deserved winners and Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood the individual MVP.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.