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Finn pips Cook to MVP glory

First-innings figures of 6-125 in Auckland were enough to secure Steven Finn England’s winter FTI MVP crown at the expense of long-time leader Alastair Cook.

England’s skipper led the way for much of England’s touring programme, having produced a string of stunning performances in India prior to Christmas.

Cook also registered a century in the first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin, but Finn - who contributed a memorable 203-ball 56 as nightwatchman in that game - timed his dash for the line perfectly, hitting the front for the first time during the series-finale at Eden Park.

The tall seamer’s six-wicket haul earned him 24.47 points and, with Cook mustering just 47 runs in the match, the MVP title suddenly belonged to Finn, who proved a consistent scorer across all three forms with respective tallies of 67, 67 and 69 points in Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s.

He played five more matches than Cook but featured in three fewer Tests, the form of the game that yields more points by virtue of the additional innings.

Finn’s productive display in Auckland took his overall wicket-tally for the winter to 37 (14 in Tests, 12 in ODIs and 11 in T20s) and upped his overall points-per-game average to 10.15.

Cook scored 1,087 runs across Tests and ODIs and topped the Test FTI MVP with 752 runs, 19.35% of his team’s total.

Matt Prior, England’s hero on the final day of the drawn series with New Zealand, finished second in the Test FTI MVP following an admirably consistent winter.

Prior reached double figures every time he batted, with a lowest score of 21, and scored 569 runs with the aid of his Auckland century and four fifties. He also claimed 16 catches, including a breathtaking one-handed effort down the leg side to dismiss Peter Fulton at Eden Park, and a solitary stumping.