Jason Roy lit up the World Cup semifinal against Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday with a sparkling 65-ball 85 to help England beat Australia by eight wickets and enter their first World Cup final since 1992.
Chasing Australia’s total of 223, Roy was the MVP of the chase and came up with an attacking blitz at the very start of the innings to take the Kangaroos completely by surprise.
Sharing a fourth hundred-run partnership for the first wicket in the tournament with Jonny Bairstow (34), Roy made his intentions clear early on, hitting Mitchell Starc through the covers for a couple of boundaries in the fifth over.
Starc, who has been one of the best new ball bowlers of this World Cup, ended up conceding 50 runs in his first five overs. Steve Smith was thrown the ball in the 16th over as Australia desperately sought a breakthrough.
However, this plan backfired horribly as Roy smashed Smith for three consecutive sixes, accumulating 21 runs in an over.
However, Roy’s incorrect dismissal in the 20th over was a flashpoint. The fourth ball of the Pat Cummins over whizzed past Roy and went to the keeper. The Australians went up in a muted appeal for caught behind. Dharmasena, not looking very sure, raised his finger.
Roy immediately signalled for a review, but England had already lost their review with Bairstow and didn’t have one left. A furious Roy stood his ground as the Australians gestured to him to start walking. Square leg umpire Marais Erasmus walked to the pitch and was seen talking to Roy in an apparent bid to calm things.
After uttering a few unmentionables that were caught on the stump mic, Roy then began the long walk to the pavilion. Replays soon confirmed that the ball has missed Roy’s bat.
Roy can’t miss the final surely: Swann
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, former cricketers hoped that Roy would be let off with something less than a ban because nobody would want the matchwinner of the semifinal to miss the final.
"I’m sure he will get a heavy talking to and maybe a fine. I’ll be very surprised if he misses the final because nobody wants to see that," said former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.
England spinner Graeme Swann said, "He can’t miss the final surely. It was a dreadful decision by Dharmasena to give him out. Bairstow had wasted England’s review. I hope the focus on this game does not rest on that because it was an incredibly dominating display from an England side which has regained its mojo and looks set to win the World Cup.
"Roy got a howler from the umpire. But could he have reacted better? Yes. That’s what we expect from cricketers. We are all taught that the man in white, or the man in black right now, is always right. Unfortunately, you have these spur-of-the-moment reactions from players," said former Indian spinner Murali Kartik.
Fortunately for the Three Lions, Roy will be available for Sunday’s World Cup final after the International Cricket Council (ICC) released a statement saying he had earned two demerit points and was fined of 30 percent of his match fee for dissent.