“This is my best T20 innings, there’s no doubt about it,” said Roy after the game. “Obviously it’s a great wicket and a fast outfield, so it’s just a case of trying to hit as many fours and sixes as possible and get close to the total. [target] and see where we stand. I’m sure this will go down in the books for me as one of the best, and it will certainly be etched in my memory for a long time to come.
“Anytime you chase over 200 and you chase that all the way – it doesn’t matter what the field is – it’s still an incredible feeling,” he said when asked about the field. “For me, in T20 cricket, these are my favorite innings ever because I was there until the end. I think if I’m batting as the opening batsman I could score a hundred and get out with 20 runs needed, but tonight was I’m there until the end, which is an incredible feeling as a lead-off hitter.”
Wednesday night’s Rawalpindi pitch was arguably one of the flattest this season – two wickets fell in both innings and huge totals were posted. But for Roy, it was about the intent and throwing the fear out the window of winning such games.
“Chasing 240, we knew that was probably out of reach to win convincingly, and by convincingly I mean in 13 or 14 overs,” said Roy. “In the dressing room there’s one of those things when you go out and all the fear of failure goes out the window, and you go out and have a lot of fun. Hitting with Martin Guptill, who’s done it all over the world and got thousands of runs. .. we walked up there very relaxed. We didn’t feel any pressure on our shoulders at all. On that wicket, with that crowd, it was exciting and we had a really good time.”
“Incredible, that’s the only word to sum it up,” Roy said of the match. “It’s a great advertisement for PSL and T20 cricket. Obviously bowlers don’t want to come and play on these wickets every game, but people who watch these kinds of games, kids who watch this game, things like this – I know you Even when I was a kid watching these kinds of games, that was what really drew me to the game, so this is the kind of thing that really attracts the next generation of players.”;
“It’s the kind of thing I watch on TV, a lot of the time as Babar plays… To see Babar first hand was very special, but he could have done a little less to make things easier for us”
Jason Roy on Babar Azam’s hundred
It was Roy’s comeback match as he had left the competition after five games to join the England team in Bangladesh for the ODI series. In his first stint he had scored 27, 0, 14, 48 and 5; Gladiators lost four of those five games and languished at the bottom of the points table. Roy found his form in Bangladesh, scoring 132 in the second ODI, and his innings on Wednesday all but kept the Gladiators’ fading hopes alive.
“We have one more game to go,”; Roy said. “I went out for my international duty and left the boys, so I’m happy to be able to come back, put that performance together and put a smile on our faces. I love this team, they do a lot for me, the staff means a lot to me, so for me to perform for them was a very special feeling, it’s been a really tough season for us, we didn’t put on the performances we wanted to, but we have a great group of people, So when these kinds of victories come along, it’s special.”
Lamenting his lack of runs earlier, he said: “I think it’s just a matter of playing without any fear. I had no choice but to go out and hit it. Maybe in other games I was a bit hesitant and I worried too much I put so much pressure on myself as the lead-off hitter for this franchise I didn’t feel it from the franchise they’re very supportive all the way through and I think it’s my sixth game and I’m taking a hundred for it every sixth game.’
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistani correspondent