Worcestershire and England all-rounder Moeen Ali is joined by Joe Denly from Kent, Somerset’s Jamie Overton and Benny Howell of Gloucestershire in being shortlisted for the Professional Cricketers’ Association Player of the Month for August.
The four topped the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings in August for domestic cricket, therefore Moeen’s Man of the Match display against India was not calculated for, making his inclusion all the more impressive.
The winner will now be decided by supporters through a vote at the bottom of this article as well as on the Sky Sports app and website. Voting is open and will close at 5pm on Wednesday September 5.
The MVP formula provides a more rigorous analysis of player performances than traditional batting and bowling averages, the algorithm gives full credit to those players whose performances improve their team’s chances of winning.
Points are accrued for all runs scored and wickets taken, these are then adjusted within the context of the match to take into account strike rates and economy rates.
Runs gain more points if they are scored quickly or in low-scoring contests. Top order wickets are judged more valuable than those that fa later. Catches, run-outs and stumpings are also accounted for as well as bonus points for captains and players who are on the victorious side.
With the Rankings creating the shortlist for the PCA Player of the Month, it is up to supporters to vote for the eventual winner and here are the contenders:
Moeen topped the domestic MVP Rankings for August with 174 points after a string of breath-taking displays for Worcestershire.
Nobody has secured more MVP points in one calendar month in 2018 which was largely made possible due to a double century and eight wickets in the County Championship victory over Yorkshire. That one game alone produced 81 points for Moeen, again, a record for domestic cricket in 2018.
The all-rounder captained the Pears in all of his six games in August, winning five which included smashing 115 off 56 balls against Birmingham in the Vitality Blast and helping guide them to Finals Day.
Although not calculated for, Moeen then ended the month with a recall to the England Test squad where he produced a Man of the Match display in taking nine wickets in the match.
The Kent batsman’s leg-spin has turned him into a genuine all-rounder in 2018 with the 32-year-old consolidating a huge lead in the Overall MVP Rankings thanks to an impressive August.
Obtaining 137 points, Denly had another consistent month with bat and ball which saw him guide the Spitfires to the knock-out stages of the Blast. Taking 11 wickets in seven games while scoring consistently with the bat, highlighted with an unbeaten 99 against Gloucestershire.
However, arguably Denly’s best performance of the month came in the Championship victory over Derbyshire. After hitting an impressive 106 with the bat, Denly took a career best four wickets for 36 runs in the second innings to spin his county to victory and place them in the promotion places.
The Somerset fast bowler has had a resurgent August which has seen him as statistically the third best player of the month according to the MVP Rankings.
After a series of injuries have plagued Overton over recent years, August was the month he would be back to his best, taking 27 wickets and ending with 124 points.
Taking scalps with regularity throughout the month, the Blast quarter-final was a standout clash with Overton taking his first-ever five-wicket haul in white-ball cricket to beat Notts and secure a place at Finals Day.
Overton then followed that up with taking four for 25 to beat Yorkshire and keep them in with a chance of lifting the County Championship.
Gloucestershire all-rounder, Howell, had a memorable month which included taking 15 wickets in eight T20 matches to help his side to the knock out stages of the Blast.
Despite taking two wickets for just 22 runs in his four overs in the quarter-final, it wasn’t enough to stop Worcestershire progressing through to Finals Day.
However, Bordeaux born Howell’s consistency with bat and economical bowling in the middle overs had a large part to play in reaching the latter stages of the competition.
No longer a T20 specialist, a valuable half-century against Leicestershire helped Gloucestershire to victory in the Championship to round off a month which earned him 115 points.