This season’s Orange Cap holder Buttler, who now has 718 runs in 15 games, initially failed to time the ball and was 39 off his first 38 balls.
But the opener shifted gears in style and smacked another 50 off his next 18 deliveries faced to lift RR’s total to a challenging 188/6.
“I was determined to hang in there. It was a big game for us and we wanted to make sure to put a big score,” Buttler said at the post-match press conference after RR’s seven-wicket loss to GT on Tuesday.
“Sometimes you got to swallow your ego, if you are finding it hard, you are finding it hard. I don’t try to force too much, don’t panic.
“The opposition would prefer me to panic and get out, just try to hang in there. I knew at some point I would get away. I trusted myself. Today, it came late in the innings,” he added.
Buttler also had plenty of luck go his way as he got two reprieves in the middle in his 89 off 56 balls.
It was Sanju Samson who gave RR a fiery start with his 47 off 26 and Buttler said the Royals skipper took some pressure off him.
“Yes I was finding it tough to start with and then Sanju came in and played well from ball one. He took a lot of pressure off me. I wouldn’t say it was my most fluent innings but I just tried to hang in there and managed to get a little bit away in the end.”
The Royals will now play the second qualifier against either the Royal Challengers Bangalore or Lucknow Super Giants on Saturday.
The 189-run target proved insufficient for the Royals as David Miller and Hardik Pandya shared a 106-run unbroken partnership for the fourth wicket to seal a win and take GT to the final in their maiden IPL season.
“We just could not break that partnership, if we managed to take a wicket and found a way to break that partnership, it would have been crucial for us. The deeper they took, the harder it became for us.
“But we are still alive in the tournament after finishing in the top-two, we still got a chance. We’re disappointed today, but still in the tournament,” he added.
The Purple Cap-holder Yuzvendra Chahal and India senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who have a combined tally of 37 wickets this season, were wicketless and leaked 72 runs against the Titans.
“Those two guys have been outstanding for us this season. It’s a tough place for bowlers — spin or pace bowling.
“It’s a small ground with a fast outfield. A lot of boundaries are available on this particular ground. So it is always going to be tough. There was a bit of dew also in the second innings,” he said, throwing his support to the spin duo.