For the 176 players competing in the 6th round of the Watsons Village Cup, the thought of the Lord’s Final can’t be far from their mind. At the risk of sounding like a lower-league football manager, you have to take each game at a time, but I would wager my impressive collection of beanie babies that more than one of the 176 has thought about walking out at the home of cricket.
GM has very generously been supporting the Performance of the Round throughout the competition, and while the numbers of teams has been ever decreasing, the performances certainly haven’t.
There were some excellent contenders this week, none more so than the matchwinning 141 by Harry Bartlett. Coming off just 79 balls, he smashed 16 fours and 8 sixes. This exhibition of bludgeoning took Bledlow Village to a score of 319. A score they defended with relative ease, bowling Horndon on the Hill out for 180.
While Bartlett was best in show with the bat, the performance of the round goes to Sasha Barras. His 7 for 31 included a hat-trick and played a large role in limiting Rockhampton to 150 batting first. Sasha wasn’t required to pad up as Aston Rowant knocked it off 2 down and ensured they progressed to the quarter-finals – the furthest they have been for 33 years. Here is what he had to say about his performance and Aston Rowant’s chances moving forward
Did you expect to take seven wickets coming on second change?
When I came on I wasn’t thinking at all about how many wickets I would take, I just wanted to follow on from the very economical and disciplined bowling displayed by our openers and first change bowlers. I felt we had restricted them well and my job was just to keep applying the pressure towards the end of the innings.
How do you rate your chances for the rest of the competition?
We are taking it a game at a time but if we put together performances like at the weekend, then I see no reason why we can’t keep progressing and winning games. Obviously the competition is only going to get tougher, but I know that the boys will continue to rise to the challenge.
How long have you played for Aston Rowant?
This is my third full season at Aston Rowant.
Are you thinking about the Lord’s Final yet?
As I say, it is very much a case of taking it one game at a time. That said, we are all aware of what is at stake and the potential chance to play at the home of cricket so I’d be lying if I said it was completely blocked out.
As winner of the performance of the round Sasha receives a specially engraved Gunn & Moore cricket bat customised to show his performance. Additionally, all the round winners will be invited to our factory in Nottingham, when not only will they see for themselves the GM bat making process, but also the 2017 Performance of the Season will be named with the winner receiving a Gunn & Moore kitbag, including bat, pads, gloves and helmet.