Gowtham struck an unbeaten 33 from just 11 balls under pressure, hitting two sixes and four fours to seal a three-wicket win for his side after Samson (52) himself and Ben Stokes (40 off 27) had added 72 runs for the third wicket to lay the foundation for the victory on Sunday.
"Gowtham was amazing. It is a life time experience for him and also for us," Samson said at the post-match press conference.
Rajasthan Royals' West Indian Jofra Archer was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his impressive bowling show of 3/22 which helped his side restrict Mumbai Indians to 167/7. Samson refused to comment on Archer being declared as man-of-the-match.
"I also feel K Gowtham was man of the match but every one's contribution is important. Archer too had contributed by taking three wickets and also hitting a few boundaries. I cannot comment on selection of man of the match," he said.
Samson regretted at not being able to finish off the match by himself as Jasprit Bumrah dismissed him and Jos Buttler in successive balls in the 17th over. Asked if the match was stretched too long, Samson said, "It was not delayed but I knew when we chase, bowling team is always under pressure. So I just wanted to take it to last overs but unfortunately I got out.
"I think I should have finished it off. They also bowled well but these matches are finished like that only and it was Gowtham who did it for us." Talking about the opening slots which still looked unsettled, Sanju said it was a matter of concern.
"Yes, good opening partnerships have not been there but we are trying different combinations as the tournament progresses. As far as fielding is concerned we need to pull up our socks and improve in that area."
There were a few misfieldings, half-hearted efforts and a couple of dropped catches too in the match. Mumbai Indians wicketkeeper batsman Ishan Kishan also praised Gowtham for his unbeaten cameo.
"He (Gowtham) really batted well. He waited for the ball before going for his strokes," said Kishan.
He was, however, unfazed by the defeat and said his side will bounce back.
"We have been in such conditions in the past also but Mumbai Indians are known to bounce back. So we are not going to lose hope. We would be bouncing back playing our best cricket," said Kishan who also played a solid innings of 58.
Asked if his team was heading towards a big total at one point of time and whether poor batting cost them the match, Ishant said his side were 15 runs short. "I think we were 15 runs short but this happens in any T20 match. They (RR) bowled well and the wicket was also not easy to bat later on," he said.
On Jofra Archer's spell of 3 for 22, Kishan said, "He bowled well but still we could have scored more when he was bowling. He gave a few loose deliveries like full tosses and we could have scored more.
"But this is the beauty of the game, sometimes you are able to score big runs and sometimes you are not." Kishan thanked his physio for getting him fit after he had sustained an injury off Hardik Pandya's throw in an earlier match.
First Published: April 23, 2018, 1:24 PM IST