‘It was probably my favourite innings’ – Jason Roy
He had hit four centuries before the latest one – 120 against Australia in Cardiff – but this one has ‘probably’ given him the most happiness, said Jason Roy after his starring effort took England to a 38-run win in the game and a 2-0 lead in the series.
As such, his fifth century in his 60th one-day international was well off his best, or even his second best: 180 v Australia in Melbourne earlier this year and 162 v Sri Lanka at The Oval in June 2016. But this one gave viewers a look at a slightly different Roy, one that paced his innings well and didn’t go for broke from the start.
“I had a long discussion with Thorpey (Graham Thorpe, England’s batting coach) after I got out and just said it was probably my favourite innings as far as how my tempo was throughout the innings,” said Roy, the Player of the Match.
“Just the way I knuckled down early, it was quite difficult and I went through some difficult patches but then came out the other side. Obviously I wanted to start expanding my game but unfortunately I got out. But I was still happy nonetheless.”
Roy has had a bit of a lean run in ODIs since that 180. In 10 matches before Saturday, his best was 49 – twice – and he had scored two ducks, including one in the first game of the ongoing Australia series.
“It was a big aim for me to come after a long winter and to start well on home soil. Obviously we had the hiccup against Scotland and then the first game I was a bit panicky, a bit wary, of where my game's at, but I put in a lot of hard work over the past few days and got a few rewards today,” said Roy.
Outstanding as Roy’s innings was, Shaun Marsh almost stole a march over him by slamming a 116-ball 131 from No.3 in Australia’s reply to England’s 342/8. Marsh led a one-man show as Australia looked good to pull off the chase before stopping at 304with 17 balls left.
“I guess it's bittersweet – it's nice to get a few runs but, yeah, I was obviously disappointed with the result. We couldn't quite finish it off at the end there,” said Marsh.
“It's obviously a disappointment for us. We felt like we were in the game right until the end but unfortunately we just weren't good enough today. We'll have to be better in a few days’ time.”
In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, the Australians are trying to find their best batting combination, and brought in D’Arcy Short to open with Travis Head in the second game, pushing down Aaron Finch to No.5.
“I think it was about the balance today. Putting Finchy in the middle order was trying to strengthen the middle order a bit more with the experience that he's got. I'm not sure what they'll do for the next game. I think they'll stay the same,” said Marsh, who is likely to hold on to the one-down slot for the remainder of the series.
The third ODI will be played at Trent Bridge on 19 June.