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Dawson, Overton and Gregory lead the race for £10,000
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Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson currently leads the way in the PCA’s Overall Most Valuable Player Rankings, as the focus shifts away from white ball cricket and back onto the Specsavers County Championship.
The slow left-armer has enjoyed a stellar 2019 so far, starting strongly in this year’s four-day competition. On top of his three wickets in Hampshire’s first two games, Dawson passed 50 in each of his three innings with the bat, recording scores of 64, 57 and 92.
Not content with resting on his County Championship performances, Dawson has also had a particularly big impact on this year’s edition of the Royal London One-Day Cup. His 18 wickets at 20.33 and 274 runs with the bat, including a magnificent century against Surrey at The Kia Oval, have earned Dawson 138.67 One-Day Cup MVP points.
Such an incredible start not only led to Dawson taking home April’s Player of the Month award, but also helped to propel Hampshire to the showpiece final of this year’s competition at Lord’s on 25 May.
Dawson currently sits third in the One-Day Cup MVP, only 13 points behind Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood in first place, and 12 behind Somerset’s Craig Overton, who Dawson will face in the final.
An imminent block of 10 consecutive County Championship fixtures, beginning on Tuesday 14 May and extending until Saturday 13 July, will give players across all 18 counties ample opportunity to challenge Dawson’s lead at the top.
Somerset’s Lewis Gregory, who currently sits third in the Overall MVP, will be particularly keen to do just that. The seam bowler’s stunning early season form saw him take 14 wickets at just 10.35 apiece to comfortably lead the County Championship MVP.
As Gregory tops one list, Somerset top another. His match-winning performances have seen the Taunton-based side surge to the summit of Division One, albeit with only two rounds of fixtures having been completed so far.
Following his County Championship heroics, Gregory has also put up a fine showing in this year’s One-Day Cup. The all-rounder has made as much of an impact with the bat as he has with the ball in the 50-over competition: his 287 runs at 31.88 have included three half-centuries.
Sandwiched between Dawson and Gregory in the Overall MVP top three is the latter’s Somerset teammate Craig Overton.
While Gregory has excelled in this year’s County Championship, Overton has impressed in the shorter format. The England international currently sits behind only Lancashire’s leading wicket-taker Saqib Mahmood in the One-Day Cup MVP.
A standout performance against Kent on 19 April saw Overton smash 66* off just 36 balls before picking up 5-18 in the second innings. His scalps included the prize wickets of Sean Dickson, Ollie Robinson and Australian international Matt Renshaw.
The MVP formula is specifically designed to reward match-winning performances. For example, more points are awarded for scoring a higher proportion of your team’s runs or captaining the winning side. In Overton’s case, additional bonuses were given for his taking of Kent’s top order wickets.
As a result, the 25-year-old accrued an outstanding 40.18 MVP points that day – over one quarter of the 150 points he’s picked up in the One-Day Cup so far this year.
Dawson, Overton and Gregory stand well clear of the chasing pack in this year’s Overall MVP with 192.87, 189.23 and 184.76 points respectively. Mahmood, with 151.07 points, sits in fourth after a breakthrough 50-over campaign, can he maintain his form with the red-ball?
The top three will continue to vie for the MVP crown as Somerset take on Hampshire at Lord’s on 25 May. Between now and then, though, they have the small matter of two rounds of County Championship fixtures to contend with.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.