Somerset man sitting pretty after another MVP of the Match performance.

To see more articles, click here

Craig Overton has extended his lead atop the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings after inspiring his side to victory over Hampshire with yet another MVP of the Match performance.

The 27-year-old scored 62.5 MVP points – the highest individual total of the weekend – during Somerset’s fixture at the Ageas Bowl, which saw Overton’s side win by 10 wickets to pile the pressure on Gloucestershire at the top of Group 2 in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Overton took two wickets in the first innings and also earned a bonus point for taking one catch as Somerset skittled Hampshire for 79, before going on to make a quickfire 79 in their reply of 336, also earning bonus points as a reward for his high strike rate.

The fast bowler then came into his own in the final innings, finishing with figures of 5-66 and again earning bonus MVP points for removing five of Hampshire’s top six as the Southampton-based side were all out for 258 on Sunday afternoon, leaving Somerset with just two runs to win.

Overton, who was one of four nominees for the April PCA Player of the Month award, brings his cumulative MVP points total for the season up to 217 and finishes the weekend 52 points clear of second placed Ryan Higgins at the top of the County Championship MVP.

The gap has widened between first and second after Overton finished last weekend just one point clear of Derbyshire’s Matt Critchley, whose side did not have a fixture this weekend, and Overton has now finished every day at the top of the MVP since 1st May.

Behind Overton and Higgins, Critchley (third place, 153 MVP points), David Bedingham (fourth, 141.5) and Simon Harmer (fifth, 136) make up the remainder of the current MVP top five.

Other MVP headlines from the weekend include a stunning performance from Northamptonshire duo Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg as they dismantled Sussex at Wantage Road.

The pair inspired each other throughout their side’s innings and 120-run victory – Northants’ second of the season – with Sanderson’s 10 match wickets just edging out Berg’s nine. 

Sanderson also shaded Berg in the MVP of the Match stakes, claiming the award with 54.5 points, but 13th placed Berg (109.5 MVP points) remains just ahead of 14th placed Sanderson (108 points) in the MVP Rankings.

Another fast bowler, Gloucestershire’s David Payne, won the MVP of the Match award at Lord’s after spearheading his side’s seven-wicket win over Middlesex to remain top of Group 2.

Payne’s career best First-Class match figures of 11-87 converted to 59 MVP points as the fast bowler posted the second highest individual MVP points total of the weekend to move up to 30th place in the MVP.

Elsewhere, Luke Fletcher earned a second MVP of the Match award in as many weeks as he took career best figures of 6-24 to accumulate 41.6 points and set up Nottinghamshire’s impressive innings and 30-run win over reigning champions Essex.

Amazingly, every MVP of the Match from this rain-affected weekend was a bowler or an all-rounder as there were also awards for Chris Wright (28.5 MVP points), Ed Barnard (27.8), James Anderson (20.5) and Ben Coad (20.5)

The MVP was designed by the PCA in conjunction with the players to identify the top performers in the game. Relaunched in 2021 with assistance from cricket’s leading analytics experts CricViz, the algorithm takes into account key match-defining contributions on top of traditional batting and bowling averages to give the most accurate picture of the best performers in the game.

An MVP will be named for each domestic competition throughout the season, as well as a cross-format Overall MVP come the end of the campaign.

For more information on the brand-new MVP Rankings, contact the PCA’s Head of Communications Luke Reynolds at luke.reynolds@thepca.co.uk or the PCA’s Communications Executive Peter Clark at peter.clark@thepca.co.uk.

View the brand-new MVP Rankings and keep up-to-date with the latest MVP news by following @pcaMVP on Twitter.

PCA MVP formula refreshed

Four of our current MVPs explain what to look out for in 2021...