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'My best T20 innings, no doubt about it' - Jason Roy on his record-breaking 145*

"A great advert for PSL and T20 cricket. This is the sort of stuff that draws the next generation of players [to the game]," he said of the 483-run match

Umar Farooq
Umar Farooq
Jason Roy goes aerial, Peshawar Zalmi vs Quetta Gladiators, Rawalpindi, PSL, March 8, 2023

Jason Roy smashed 145 not out in just 63 balls  •  AFP/Getty Images

Jason Roy, the Quetta Gladiators opener, described his PSL-record-breaking unbeaten 145 off 63 balls against Peshawar Zalmi as his "best T20 innings", and the match itself, where 483 runs were scored in 38.2 overs, "a great advert for T20 cricket".
Roy broke Colin Ingram's record (127*) for the highest individual score in the PSL, and helped Gladiators chase down 241 with eight wickets and ten balls to spare. He brought up his hundred in just 44 balls, the second-fastest century in the league, and scored nearly 76% of his runs in boundaries, smacking 20 fours and five sixes.
"This is my best T20 innings, no doubt about it," Roy said after the match. "Obviously a great wicket and fast outfield, so it's just a case of trying to hit as many four and sixes and get close to the total [target] and see where we are at. I am sure this will go down for me as one of the greatest, and it will definitely live for a long time in my memory.
"Anytime you are chasing over 200 and you chase that totally - doesn't matter what the pitch is - it's still an incredible feeling," he said when asked about the pitch. "For me, in T20 cricket, this is my favourite-ever innings because I was there till the end. I think a lot of time when I am batting as an opening batsman, I could score a hundred and get out needing 20 runs but tonight I was there till the end, which is an incredible feeling as an opening batsman."
The Rawalpindi pitch on Wednesday night might have been one of the flattest this season - two wickets fell in either innings and huge totals were posted. But for Roy, it was about the intent and throwing the fear out of the window to win 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," Roy said. "In the change room, there is one of those things when you pad up and all the fear of failure goes out of the window, and you go out and have a lot of fun. Batting with Martin Guptill, who has done it all around the world and got thousands of runs… we walked out there very relaxed. We didn't feel any pressure on our shoulders at all. On that wicket, with that crowd, it was electrifying and had a really good time."
"Incredible, that's the only kind of word that can sum it up," Roy said about the match. "It's a great advert for PSL and T20 cricket. Obviously, bowlers don't want to be turning up and playing on these wickets every single game, but people watching these sorts of games, kids watching this game, this sort of stuff - I remember when I was a kid watching games like this, that really drew me to the game. So this is the sort of stuff that really draws the next generation of players.";
"It's the sort of stuff I watch on TV, loads of time the way Babar plays... To watch Babar first-hand was very special but he could have done with getting a little less to make it a little easier for us"
Jason Roy on Babar Azam's hundred
Roy was full of praise for Babar Azam, who scored 115 off 65 balls for Zalmi. "That was incredible to watch; unfortunately, it was against us," he said. "It's the sort of stuff I watch on TV, loads of time the way Babar plays. It was his eighth hundred and to watch it first-hand was extremely special. He is a beautiful player to watch, and he was helped extremely well from the other end by his opening partner [Saim Ayub], a youngster coming through. To watch Babar first-hand was very special but he could have done with getting a little less to make it a little easier for us."
It was Roy's comeback game as he had left the league after five matches 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 were languishing at the bottom of the points table. Roy found his form in Bangladesh, scoring 132 in the second ODI, and his innings on Wednesday kept Gladiators' fading hopes just about alive.
"We got one more game left,"; Roy said. "I went out for my international duty and left the guys so I am pleased that I am able to come back, put that performance together and put some smiles on our faces. I love this team, they do a lot for me, the staff means a lot to me, so for me to go out and perform for them was a really special feeling. It has been a very tough season for us, we didn't put together the performances we wanted to but we got a very great group of people so when wins like this come along, it's special."
Ruing his lack of runs earlier, he said: "I think it's just a case of playing without any fear. I had no choice but to go out and smack it. Maybe in other games, I was a bit tentative and worrying too much, putting so much pressure on myself as an opening batsman for this franchise. I didn't feel it from the franchise, they are very supportive all the way through, and I think it's my sixth game and I take one hundred every sixth game."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent