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Captain stands out as England make it 10 series unbeaten.
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Captain Eoin Morgan has ended the winter as the England ODI PCA Most Valuable Player after two phenomenal tours with the bat against Sri Lanka and the Windies saw him claim 110 MVP points.
The big-hitting batsmen led his country superbly in the two series either side of the New Year and finished 32 MVP points ahead of his nearest challenger, all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is top of the Overall Winter MVP.
Despite a successful winter, the ODIs ended with disappointment after the Windies blew the tourists away in St Lucia to bowl them out for just 113 with the hosts cruising to a seven-wicket victory to level the series.
Morgan had performed admirably to go into the final game of the 50-over tour with a narrow advantage. He hit an aggressive 65 in the first game in Barbados in a match-winning partnership with centurion Joe Root before his 70 in the second game was in vain, as the hosts drew level.
The Middlesex man had a 10 point lead going into the Caribbean after he helped England to a 3-1 victory in Sri Lanka by scoring 195 runs while only being dismissed once in a rain effected tour. Adil Rashid left Asia in second position and he continued his momentum in the opener in Barbados by taking three wickets while Stokes who sat outside the top five at the time took 3-37 and hit an unbeaten 20.
Jason Roy also propelled himself into the top five with his seventh ODI hundred, hitting 123 off just 85 balls to take the MVP of the Match with 32 points.
The international MVP is reset at the beginning of every summer and winter with the formula designed by the players to identify the match-winners and key influencers of matches throughout every single fixture.
The innovation provides a more rigorous analysis of player performances than traditional batting and bowling averages with the MVP algorithm giving full credit to those players whose performances improve their team’s chances of winning.
With the series level the teams travelled to Grenada and despite the toss taking place it was abandoned without a ball being bowled. However, the long wait for the first ball at St George’s was well worth it with the fourth ODI proving to be one of the finest white ball games ever seen.
Jason Holder won the toss and inserted England to bat with Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales, deputising for the injured Roy, hitting quick-fire fifties but it was Morgan and Jos Buttler who stole the show. The skipper hit 103 off 88 balls while Buttler astonished the cricketing world with 150 off just 77 balls as he moved from 50 to 150 in just 32 balls.
The wicketkeeper hit an England record 12 sixes to help set 419 for victory, a target that the Windies came perilously close to chasing. With the boundary ropes in, Chris Gayle hit his second century of the series before Stokes ended his resistance with 162 from 97 balls. Only the impressive Mark Wood stemmed the run-rate as he took the wickets of four out of the top five batsmen but even after Gayle was dismissed, the hosts were up with the required rate.
That was until Morgan’s courageous captaincy kept Rashid in the attack and the 48th over saw the leg-spinner take four wickets in five balls to bowl the Windies out just 30 runs short of what would have been a famous victory. With 807 runs in the match, it was Wood who was the MVP thanks to taking 4-60 from eight overs, which secured him a huge 48 points.
The final 50-over encounter was hosted in St Lucia and it was one to forget for England who lost the toss and were swiftly bowled out inside 29 overs for just 113 on a quick, bouncy wicket. Gayle continued his dominance with a 27 ball 77 and despite Wood and Chris Woakes sharing three wickets, England were thoroughly outplayed with the series ending 2-2.
Although the series ended in disappointment, the number one ICC ODI ranked team are now 10 series unbeaten ahead of this summer’s World Cup and conclude their tour of the West Indies with three T20Is starting on Tuesday with Joe Denly currently top of the MVP after the solitary game this winter against Sri Lanka in October.
View the MVP Rankings here.