Kent Spitfires’ Hardus Viljoen and Mohammad Nabi currently occupy second and fourth position respectively in the PCA’s Vitality Blast Most Valuable Player Rankings.
Viljoen is one of just two specialist bowlers in the top 10, the other being former Spitfire Wayne Parnell of Worcestershire Rapids.
With 73.18 MVP bowling points currently to his name, the South African has comfortably been the most successful bowler in this year’s competition so far according to the PCA’s MVP algorithm, well clear of Derbyshire’s Ravi Rampaul, who has 59.05.
Unsurprisingly, the South African is also the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 14 at 12.85. Perhaps as importantly, he has also returned an excellent economy rate of 7.1. His miserly bowling is perhaps best illustrated by the fact the Surrey could only take 10 runs from his two overs in a reduced seven overs per side contest last week.
Viljoen’s form, and his opening bowling partnership with Adam Milne (8 wickets at 22.12) in particular, has been key to the Spitfires’ success this season. However, they have been more-than-ably backed up by the impressive all-round talents of the aforementioned Nabi.
The 34-year-old arrived in Canterbury with plenty of expectation on his shoulders. He has been one of the strongest performers in global T20 cricket over the last few years, and won the Australian Big Bash with Melbourne Renegades as recently as February.
Luckily for Spitfires fans, Nabi has lived up to those expectations so far, claiming six wickets for 25.33 and crashing 144 runs at an impressive strike rate of 160.
The MVP algorithm was designed by the PCA to reward match-winning performances, recognising the importance of all-rounders such as Nabi. Bonus points are awarded, for example, for scoring runs quickly, claiming top order wickets and taking catches in the field, amongst other important disciplines.
Nabi has benefitted from all three of these metrics and more to be the second-best performing all-rounder in this year’s competition so far, behind only Durham’s D’Arcy Short.
Viljoen and Nabi’s form, along with that of Alex Blake and the aforementioned Milne (33rd and 35th in the Blast MVP respectively), has helped Kent to become one of the best performing teams in the Vitality Blast this year.
Six wins from seven see the Spitfires top of a strong South Group.
Article courtesy of the PCA. View the latest MVP ranking here >>>