AFP/Nottingham, United Kingdom
Jason Roy was at a loss to explain how he had scored a match-winning century against Pakistan following an overnight visit to hospital with his baby daughter.
Roy’s superb 114 was the centrepiece of England’s chase as they beat Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Friday to go 3-0 up with one to play in a one-day international series.
Yet Roy’s eighth century at this level came in trying circumstances, with the Surrey opening batsman saying he’d been more worried about daughter Everly than piling up the runs.
“It was a very emotional hundred. I didn’t see it coming,” Roy told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“I had a bit of a rough morning so this one is a special one for me and my family,” added Roy, who returned to hospital after a three-wicket win, although his daughter’s condition is not believed to be serious.
“It was my little one. We had to take her to hospital at 1:30 in the morning. I stayed there until 8:30am, came back for a couple of hours sleep and got to the ground just before warm-up and cracked on.”
England were cruising to a target of 341 while Roy was at the crease but, after comfortable wins at Southampton and Bristol, his dismissal sparked a collapse that saw three wickets lost for seven runs in 10 balls. And when Moeen Ali was out for a duck, England were 216 for five.
‘Soak up the pressure’
But Ben Stokes’s unbeaten 71 eventually saw England win with three balls to spare.
“For Ben to soak up that pressure, come through it and be not out at the end will give him lots of confidence. It was great to see him play in that fashion,” said England stand-in captain Jos Buttler.
Wicket-keeper Buttler, leading the side while regular captain Eoin Morgan served a one-game ban for the team’s slow over-rate in Bristol, also praised Roy by saying: “It’s great to watch Jason go about his work too. He’s been in great form and he was desperate to go on to his hundred.”
While Roy was named man-of-the-match, the award could have gone to his Surrey team-mate Tom Curran.
The paceman took four for 75 in Pakistan’s 340 for seven, including the wicket of century-maker Babar Azam, and, batting at No 8, made 31 in a key stand of 61 with Stokes.
It all strengthened Curran’s case for a place in tournament hosts England’s final 15-man squad for the World Cup. with the showpiece event now just a matter of weeks away. “With the bat, with the ball, I love his character. He just wants to be involved in the game, he had a fantastic day,” added Buttler.
Curran, however, might have been run out for six had either Pakistan or the umpires spotted that a second direct hit in the same passage of play had dislodged the one remaining bail as he scrambled to complete a run.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who did not appeal for the Curran run-out was left regretting that decision but the wicket-keeper was arguably more frustrated by his team’s succession of costly fielding errors.
“We had enough runs on the board and if we field well we win this game,” said Sarfraz.
“The coach told me (about the run-out). I thought both bails had come out, I hope that if the third umpire seen it on the television he would tell the umpires as well.”
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