'One last hurrah' for Dhoni as CSK beats GT in last-ball thriller to clinch 5th IPL title; fans 'whistle podu'
IPL 2023 Final saw Chennai Super Kings prevail over Gujarat Titans by five wickets in Ahmedabad on Sunday late night, thanks to Ravindra Jadeja;s exquisite finishing skills, as MS Dhoni was seemingly handed his 'one last hurrah', while fans were in a buoyant mood.
It was a buoyant mood for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and its fans as it triumphed over defending champion Gujarat Titans (GT) by five wickets in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) Final at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Ravindra Jadeja played the finishers' role, as MS Dhoni was handed his 'one lat hurrah'.
After winning the coin toss, CSK opted to bowl citing the overcast conditions and rain threats. Meanwhile, GT began on a strong note, with openers Wriddhiman Saha (54) and Shubman Gill (39) putting on 67 before the stand was broken in the seventh over, with the latter falling to leg-spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
Gill's dismissal hardly mattered for Gujarat. Saha and Sai Sudharsan (96) added 64 for the second wicket before the former brought up his 13th IPL half-century and departed to seamer Deepak Chahar in the 14th. Thereon, Sudharsan and skipper Hardik Pandya (26*) took charge, with the former engaging in most of the hitting and scripting an 81-run partnership for the third wicket.
However, the former fell in the final over just four short of his maiden IPL ton, as pacer Matheesha Pathirana trapped him leg-before at 212, while he had also struck his fourth IPL 50. Eventually, the Titans finished on a convincing total of 214/4, the highest total on an IPL Final to date, while Sudarshan played the best knock against the side in the final to date. For GT, Pathirana clutched a couple, while Chahar and Jadeja were economical.
Before the Chennai chase, GT brought pacer Joshua Little for Sudarshan. However, just after three balls onto the chase, with 4/0, the rain interrupted, which was a heavy one, leading to a delay for over two hours before the play resumed with 15 overs to play, while the Super Kings' target was revised to 171.
CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (26) and Devon Conway (47) began terrifically, chinaman wrist-spinner Noor Ahmad got rid of both in the seventh with 78 runs on the board. Thereon, Shivam Dube (32*) and Ajinkya Rahane (27) engaged in a 39-run partnership for the third wicket before the latter was dismissed by pacer Mohit Sharma in the 11th.
While Gujarat had its hopes alive, especially having kept the required rate under check, Dube and Ambati Rayudu (19) swiftly added 32 for the fourth, especially by the latter before he fell to Mohit in the 13th in his retirement match, at 149. The next ball saw skipper Dhoni departing for a golden duck to the same man.
With senior seamer Mohammed Shami bowling a brilliant final over, the onus was upon Moht Mohit to get the job done in the final over, with 13 needed. As the equation came down to 10 off the last two, Jadeja pummelled a SIX and a FOUR to get the job done for Chennai by five wickets. For the Titans, Mohit clasped three, whereas Ahmad was greatly economical.