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Moeen crowned country’s MVP
MOEEN Ali has been presented with a cheque for £10,000 after being named this year’s FTI Most Valuable Player.
The Worcestershire all-rounder capped a remarkable season by snatching the honour on the penultimate day of the LV= County Championship from his season-long rival, Nottinghamshire’s Samit Patel.
Patel had regained the lead in early September and looked to have secured victory after taking three wickets in nine balls against Glamorgan in the YB40 final at Lord’s.
But after hitting 44 off 70 balls in the second innings of Worcestershire’s match against Northamptonshire at New Road, Moeen then helped skittle his newly-promoted opponents by taking 6-77 — his best return in the Championship this season.
Coupled with the points he gained in the first innings, the performance ensured he earned a total of 38.59 points in the match, finishing with an impressive total of 600 points — seven clear of Patel with a day to go.
Patel then scored 29 off 66 balls on the final morning against Somerset at Trent Bridge, leaving him needing one top-order wicket (worth five points) in the afternoon to secure victory.
Despite his Nottinghamshire team-mates gathering round the bat for 11 overs, he was unable to do so before the two teams settled on a draw, leaving Moeen to record the narrowest margin of victory since the inception of the FTI MVP Award in 2007.
Jason Ratcliffe, assistant chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said: “It has been an incredible season for Mo.
“To hold his nerve and overtake Samit in the final game has made him an extremely worthy winner.
“All cricketers acknowledge that the season is a marathon not a sprint.
“Therefore to out-perform everyone in this way is pretty impressive to say the very least.”
In total, Moeen hit 2,016 runs in all forms of cricket, took 52 wickets at an economy rate of 4.07 and pouched 26 catches. His 1,373 runs in the County Championship was the highest by any batsmen this year.
The FTI MVP rewards players for every run scored, wicket taken and catch held.
Bowlers receive higher marks for good economy rates, bowling maidens and for dismissing the top order, while batsmen get higher marks for scoring quickly and the percentage of the team’s runs they hit.
Moeen’s achievement was all the more laudable given that players in Division Two of the County Championship receive twenty per cent less points than their counterparts in Division One in order to reflect the respective standards.
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