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Double MVP winner produced a stunning bowling performance to beat Surrey.
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Warwickshire’s Jeetan Patel provided the headlines in this week’s round of County Championship fixtures which included three off-spinners taking eight-wicket hauls.
The former New Zealand international produced an absolutely stunning performance against Surrey at Edgbaston, taking 12 wickets in the match whilst giving away just 89 runs. His efforts earned him 60.98 MVP points – the most earned by any player in a single game so far this season. Unsurprisingly, the Man of the Match award for the game against Surrey followed.
The 2014 and 2016 Overall PCA Most Valuable Player has long threatened to break into the Overall MVP top five in 2019, taking eight wickets against Hampshire in the game before last. With his haul against Surrey, he’s moved into third position, behind only Somerset’s Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton.
It was a tale of two eight-wicket hauls at Edgbaston as Patel’s spinning counterpart Gareth Batty produced similar heroics for Surrey.
After taking 2-47 in the first innings, Batty gave the Oval-based side hope of avoiding defeat with an amazing second innings performance, claiming eight of Warwickshire’s nine wickets to fall. Those scalps included a hat-trick to finish the innings with the Bears declaring and Batty jubilant as a second successive batsman was caught on the boundary.
The experienced spinner has crept towards the top 25 of the Championship MVP, currently sitting in 28th position.
Amazingly, Edgbaston wasn’t the only ground to witness an eight-wicket haul on Thursday. Essex’s Simon Harmer claimed his second consecutive Man of the Match award in the County Championship after spinning his side to victory against Kent at Chelmsford.
After taking 6-60 in the second innings against Nottinghamshire last time out, Harmer returned even more impressive figures of 8-98 to win the game, including each of Kent’s last four wickets to fall.
The South African has been a revelation this month, moving up to second in the Championship MVP and sixth in the Overall leader board in the race for the £10,000 prize.
It wasn’t just the bowlers having all the fun this week, though. Down at Hove, Glamorgan’s Marnus Labuschagne enjoyed the innings of his life as he smashed his previous first-class best of 137 by a massive 45 runs.
The young Australian’s 182 helped to nullify his side’s first innings 234-run deficit, allowing Glamorgan to eventually avoid defeat in the match. Labuschagne was a shoo-in for Man of the Match, his 40.92 MVP points helping him up to fourth place in the Championship MVP.
Despite Patel, Batty, Harmer and Labuschagne’s heroics, it’s Somerset’s Lewis Gregory who remains top of the Overall and County Championship MVP. Even though Somerset didn’t play this week, Gregory has been a consistent match-winner for his team in 2019 with 265 MVP points.
Harmer is followed by Patel in third, Labuschagne in fourth and Kent’s Matthew Milnes in fifth position.
The County Championship returns on Sunday 2 June, as Middlesex face Sussex and Northamptonshire take on Glamorgan, with five more games commencing the next day.
It’s the fourth round in a block of ten Championship fixtures that should see the contenders for this year’s Championship and Overall MVP crowns rise to the top.
View the MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.