D’Arcy Short is in pole position for the Blast MVP title
Durham all-rounder D’Arcy Short is in pole position to claim a rare awards double following the Australian’s impressive Vitality Blast campaign.
Short won the Player of the Series award at the Big Bash League earlier this year and, following the completion of the Blast group stage on Friday night, he sits atop of the rankings for the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s (PCA) Most Valuable Player award.
Short will, however, be unable to add to his points tally after Durham failed to progress to the quarter-finals despite the best efforts of their overseas recruit.
Short proved his value across 12 matches by scoring the fourth-most runs in the tournament (483) and taking 13 wickets with his left-arm wrist spin. The left-hander was the leading runscorer at the Big Bash in the winter with the Hobart Hurricanes.
But Short’s hopes of winning the Blast MVP title are helped by the fact that the top four players in the rankings also saw their teams eliminated before the knockout stage.
Somerset pair Babar Azam and Tom Banton, who sit second and third respectively in the rankings, were on the wrong end of the largest successful chase in domestic Twenty20 cricket on Friday night as Middlesex snatched away a last-eight berth.
The powerful Middlesex batting line-up remarkably reeled in a victory target of 227 with three overs to spare as England World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan blasted eight sixes in his unbeaten 83 from 29 balls.
Opener Dawid Malan set the stage with 41 from 14 balls to move him up to fifth on the Blast MVP rankings – the highest-placed active player heading into next week's quarter-finals.
Malan has 44.13 points to make up on Short to displace him at the top of the ranking, although he has a maximum of three games to do that and has averaged 10.89 points per game this season.
Derbyshire Falcons opener Billy Godleman and Lancashire Lightning’s Liam Livingstone are the only other players in the top 10 who will be in action during the knockout stages.
The PCA’s MVP formula is designed to reward match-winning performances and provide a more accurate reflection of the top performers than traditional batting or bowling averages.
Bonus points are awarded for captaining the winning side, taking catches in the field and scoring a high proportion of your team’s runs, amongst points for runs and wickets.
Tom Abell (Somerset), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset) and Wayne Madsen (Derbyshire) are the four nominees for the August PCA Player of the Month award.
MVP Blast Rankings: https://www.thepca.co.uk/mvp-domestic/#t20