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The Somerset duo now occupy the top two positions in the Overall Rankings
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Somerset’s Craig Overton produced the standout performance in round four of the County Championship after victory against Warwickshire at Taunton.
The all-rounder climbs into second position in the PCA’s Overall Most Valuable Player Rankings, significantly closing the gap on teammate Lewis Gregory, who has so far taken the 2019 season by storm.
Only 697 runs were scored across the four innings in a low scoring contest at Taunton with Overton providing a telling contribution in the game’s third innings. The 25-year-old’s 36 not out was his team’s highest individual score, and dragged Somerset from 78-7 to 164 all out. Somerset eventually ran out as winners by just 49 runs, illustrating the difference that Overton’s innings made.
Whilst his batting heroics were largely decisive, it was no surprise to see Overton amongst the wickets again with the ball. His first innings 5-31 included four top order scalps, helping him earn a massive 45.78 MVP points.
The MVP formula rewards extra points for taking top order wickets, meaning performances such as Overton’s reap the benefits. Players also profit from hitting a large proportion of their team’s runs, as well as taking catches in the field.
One of the rounds biggest movers in the Overall Rankings slightly behind Overton was Worcestershire’s Wayne Parnell.
The South African has been in scintillating form and hit 63 of his team’s 172 in the first innings, before steaming in to take 5-47 from his 22 overs, helping to remove Lancashire for just 201.
Unable to bowl in Lancashire’s second innings, Parnell couldn’t add to his tally of wickets, nevertheless, in a fairly tight contest he finished the encounter with 36.62 MVP points in a man-of-the-match performance, breaking into the Overall top 10 in the process.
Another of the week’s big movers is Kent’s Matt Milnes, who moved up three places from ninth to sixth in the Overall MVP Rankings thanks largely to his four second innings wickets.
The 28-year-old now sits only behind Somerset’s Lewis Gregory and Overton, Hampshire’s Liam Dawson and Kyle Abbott, and Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher in the Overall MVP.
In terms of the County Championship MVP, the biggest story of the week is Sam Northeast’s meteoric rise up the standings.
The Hampshire man hit 133 – his second Championship ton of the season – to move up to third position, behind the aforementioned Gregory and Essex’s Simon Harmer. Northeast’s movement up the MVP has helped Hampshire’s rise up the Championship table as they now occupy second place in Division One.
The Southampton-based side will be quickly turning their attention to the Royal London One-Day Cup final this weekend, where the spotlight will fall back on headline-maker Overton.
Players from both sides will be looking to move up the Overall Ranking, but we’ll also find out who will be crowned the One-Day Cup MVP for the 2019 season.
With Hampshire’s Liam Dawson, James Vince and Aiden Markram unavailable due to international commitments, Overton is the strong favourite to finish top of the pile.
He needs just one MVP point to usurp Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood at the summit.
Hampshire’s Tom Alsop is the only other man in contention and after a terrific One-Day Cup so far the wicket-keeper batsman would need another top drawer performance to climb above the rest.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.