Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson was effusive in praise of IPL 2022’s leading scorer Jos Buttler, saying he is grateful to have the Englishman in his team.
Buttler's unbeaten 106, his fourth century of the season, powered the Royals to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, and set up a meeting with Gujarat Titans in Sunday's final.
“Very grateful to have someone like Jos; the way he is batting, touch-wood! We have one more game to go," said Samson at the post-match presentation.
Buttler has scored a whopping total of 824 runs, at an average of 58.86 and strike rate 151.47, in IPL 2022, so far. That total includes four centuries and as many fifties.
Rajasthan’s strong bowling line-up, well-backed by Obed McCoy and Prasidh Krishna, restricted RCB to 157 for 8.
Samson said the wicket played a completely different role in both the innings.
"The wicket was a bit sticky and was helping the fast bowlers a bit. It had really good bounce and was easier playing the spinners. We closed the innings really well, having DK (Dinesh Karthik) and Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) at the end.
He also lauded the bowling of Obed McCoy.
"This is his first IPL; he is very calm and composed and backs his strengths. We really trust him to do well.
“We knew what they could do, but having belief and composure in our skills is what got us through.
"It (winning the toss) made it easier to win this game. Toss plays a huge role and I think the wicket played completely different in the first and second innings," he added.
Rajasthan Royals won the IPL in inaugural IPL in 2008, under the leadership of the late Shane Warne.
"It is now after 14 years that the side from Rajasthan has made it to the summit clash of IPL. I was very young (then and it was the first IPL season.
"I remember playing an under-16 game somewhere in Kerala and I remember watching the last game with my friends and remember that last run where Shane Warne and Sohail Tanvir hit the run and they were running. It is a very vague memory I have," said Samson.
Coming to the match, fine knocks by openers Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal (21 off 13 balls), followed by a cameo from Samson (23 off 21 balls), helped Rajasthan Royals chase down the target of 158 runs in just 18.1 overs.
Earlier, Krishna and McCoy scalped three wickets each as RCB posted 157 for 8.