Jason Roy, replacing David Warner in the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI for his first IPL game since 2018, scored a quickfire 60 against the Rajasthan Royals to set up his side’s seven-wicket win. The England opener was extremely happy with his contribution, and thanked his franchise for the opportunity.
Roy’s inclusion in the playing XI did come as bit of a surprise, for he had replaced David Warner, SRH’s most prolific batsman over the years, in the line-up. However, the right-hander justified his call-up, displaying dominant batting at the top with a 42-ball 60, to set up his team’s only second win of the season.
Roy was grateful to have got the opportunity after having waited on the sidelines and credited Wriddhiman Saha (18 off 11), who set the tone early in the innings.
"Makes me extremely happy. Really grateful for the opportunity from Sunrisers,” said Roy as he was presented the Player of the Match award. “Have been training, and waiting hard. Grateful for this award too - we had some great performances today. Happy to get over the line.
“I had to kind of access different areas. Wasn't as free-flowing the way I hoped. It was a case of getting the team close to the total. Saha was instrumental in that partnership. He allowed me to relax early on."
Skipper Kane Williamson, who himself scored an unbeaten 51, acknowledged Roy’s brilliance, as he reflected on the overall team effort.
“Roy is an injection of energy. He's been on the sidelines but was always ready to go. He did what he does, great to see. Fantastic player, great contribution,” Williamson said.
"Good feeling. We can say the performance was improved. There was clarity in roles too. Good to be on the right side. Want to build on this, want to see the younger players take their opportunity and enjoy their cricket.”
Williamson remarked that the last two overs of the RR innings were major turning points, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddharth Kaul conceded just 11 runs between them, at a point when Sanju Samson (82), threatened to take his side past 180.
“Last two overs with the ball were critical,” Williamson said. “Sanju batted outstandingly and they were looking to score more but we managed to close them into a par-ish total. And then the partnership with the bat up top. We weathered the storms against the slower bowlers.”
SRH will take on Chennai Super Kings next, in Sharjah on Wednesday, September 20, and the skipper looked forward to the challenge.
“We want to recover before the next game,” Williamson said. “Couple of days away, a new venue, need to take on CSK, top of the table, tough to beat. But as we know every team in this tournament is good. Hopefully we can play with a smile on our faces."