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The fast bowler assumed first position in his teammate’s absence.
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Somerset all-rounder Craig Overton has enjoyed a stunning 2019 season so far with both bat and ball. This week, he consolidated his dominance by moving to the top of the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Overall Most Valuable Player Rankings after putting in yet another match-winning performance.
The 25-year-old earned 40.88 MVP points – and was named Player of the Match for the fourth time this season across all formats – thanks to his seven wickets and 41 runs in his side’s victory over reigning champions Surrey in Guildford.
Following that performance, Overton moved 35 points clear of teammate Lewis Gregory in the Overall MVP. The latter had swept aside the competition up until this point, but was forced to sit out this week’s match due to injury, slipping down to third place in the process.
Gregory was unfortunate to fall behind both Overton and Warwickshire’s Jeetan Patel, with the latter also putting in another remarkably strong performance this week. The former New Zealand international moved up one place from third position into second following his outing against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston.
Patel’s recent form has been nothing short of sensational. The veteran spinner followed up his 12 wickets against Surrey last week with another 10 against Nottinghamshire this time around. A second consecutive Player of the Match award followed in the bag, and the 2014 and 2016 MVP is now rivalling the likes of Overton and Gregory for the £10,000 Overall MVP prize once again, despite having played at least two games less than both so far this season.
He also just missed out on the May PCA Player of the Month Award, after the public vote was dominated by Essex’s own spinner Simon Harmer, who currently sits sixth in the Overall MVP.
One of the week’s biggest movers was Derbyshire’s Luis Reece.
The 28-year-old leapt above teammate Wayne Madsen into eighth position in the Overall MVP and seventh in the Championship MVP, despite not stealing any of the headlines this week.
Reece has consistently contributed with both bat and ball, exemplified by his performance against Durham where he hit 55 runs and took four wickets, despite his side slipping to a narrow defeat.
Whilst Reece will be content with his individual contribution this week, Glamorgan’s Billy Root won’t be forgetting his performance against Northamptonshire in a hurry.
The 26-year-old batsman struck a career-best 229 off just 252 balls to help his side remain unbeaten in – and in possession of one of the promotion places. Root’s sensational knock has helped him to move into the top 30 of the Overall MVP, as he looks to have firmly found his feet in Glamorgan’s colours.
The week’s other notable individual performance came at Lord’s, where Sussex’s Ollie Robinson blew away the Middlesex batting order with a stunning spell of seam bowling.
Robinson finished the match with 10 wickets, but it was his figures of 7-98 in the final innings that stood out. Spirited knocks from James Harris and John Simpson took the game into its final hour, but Robinson helped to remove both en-route to a crushing Sussex victory.
Wicketkeeper Ben Brown also aided in that, after he hit his third hundred in as many games. The Sussex captain would’ve been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t going to be his season after recording scores of 0,0,0 and 1* in his first two Championship games. However, he has found fine form in the second block of fixtures, recording scores of 156, 131 and 107 to move into the top 30 of the Overall MVP.
In terms of the County Championship MVP, the aforementioned Patel has overtaken Essex’s Harmer to occupy first position. The Somerset duo of Gregory and Overton occupy third and fourth respectively, while Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance completes the top five, having had his streak of five consecutive first-class centuries ended by Essex.
All 16 squads will regroup before round seven of this year’s County Championship begins with Nottinghamshire hosting Hampshire on Sunday 9 June.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.