Chennai Super Kings lift record-levelling fifth IPL trophy with a last-ball win over Gujarat Titans
Chennai Super Kings became the most successful team in Indian Premier League history as they beat the reigning champions Gujarat Titans in the final clash at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad to win their record-levelling fifth title.
MS Dhoni won the toss for Chennai Super Kings and elected to ball first with both teams sticking to their previous playing XI. Shivam Dube started as an impact player for the Super Kings again with veteran Ambati Rayudu donning the IPL jersey for the last time.
Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande gave away just four runs each in the first two overs but there was very little movement on the pitch. Deshpande created a chance to dismiss in-form Shubman Gill in the second over but Chahar dropped a sitter at the square leg. It proved costly as Gujarat openers produced a flying start to add early pressure on Chennai.
Wriddhiman Saha took a first step as he smashed 16 runs off Chahar in the third over to give Gujarat’s innings an early boost. Gill, with two consecutive hundred in Ahmedabad, also paced up his innings with three consecutive fours off Tushar in the fourth over as he ensured another flying start for the reigning champions.
Gill produced three consecutive boundaries off Maheesh Theekshana in the sixth over as the defending champions posted 62 runs in a powerplay game without losing a wicket.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni introduced Ravindra Jadeja, CSK’s most successful spinner this season, in the seventh over and the veteran all-rounder delivered Gill’s valuable wicket. Gill walked down the wicket for a big shot but the CSK skipper produced a brilliant moment as he took the bails off in a flash. Gill scored 39 runs off 20 balls with the help of seven fours as he finished the IPL 2023 with 890 runs in 17 innings.
Sai Sudharsan joined Saha in the middle but the duo struggled to continue the momentum. Chennai bowlers conceded just two boundaries in the next four overs as Gujarat registered 96 runs in 11 overs. Sudharsan took 12 deliveries to reach a double-digit score but welcomed Matheesha Pathirana with two stunning fours in the 12th over as both the batters regained momentum again.
Meanwhile, Saha registered his second half-century of this season with a thumping four off Jadeja in the 13th over. Sudharsan pulled off his first maximum in the same over as Jadeja leaked 15 runs to concede some pressure. Chahar, bowling his last over, dismissed Saha with Dhoni taking an easy catch inside the 30-yard circle. Saha scored 54 runs off 39 balls to finish a below-average season on a high note.
But Saha’s dismissal didn’t stop Sudharsan as he smashed two huge sixes off Theekshana in the next over denying CSK any momentum. Sudharsan registered his third IPL fifty in style adding two consecutive boundaries in the 16th over and stunned the crowd by smashing four boundaries off Tushar in the next over. Sudharsan and Hardik scorched 18 runs in the 19th over to touch the 200-run mark for a record 37th time in IPL 2023.
Sudharsan added two maximums off Pathirana on the first two deliveries in the last over but missed on recording his maiden IPL hundred as he was trapped in front of the wicket. Pathirana conceded only two runs off the last four deliveries to keep the total within reach.
With only three balls bowled in the second innings, rain interrupted the game and the wet outfield stretched the break for over two hours. The game resumed with a revised target of 171 in 15 overs.
CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway produced another flying start. Gaikwad smashed two fours off Mohammed Shami in the first over and Conway added two for himself off Hardik in the next over to quickly put Chennai Super Kings in the favorite category.
Hardik called his best spin option in the form of Rashid Khan to bowl the fourth over, the last powerplay over, in the hope of containing CSK’s fiery start. But Gaikwad-Conway smashed Rashid for 17 overs to post 52 runs in four overs. As expected, there was no help for the bowlers from the surface and rain made it more difficult. Gujarat used five different bowling options in the first six overs as Chennai managed to score 72 runs without losing a wicket.
But Noor Ahmad, the 18-year-old Afghan spinner, completely shifted the momentum towards his side in the seventh over. Both Ruturaj and Conway gave away their wickets while attempting areal shots as the Titans put themselves in the driving seat for the first time in the second innings.
But Chennai batters quickly balanced the game with new batter Ajinkya Rahane smashing two spectacular sixes off Joshua Little in the next over. Noor finished his three-over spell with two wickets while conceding just 17 runs as Rahane and Dube struggled for big shots against him.
The match was in the balance after ten overs with CSK needing 60 runs off the last 30 balls. The Titans introduced their in-form death over specialist Mohit Sharma in the 11th over and the former CSK pacer snatched Rahane’s wicket with a surprise slower delivery. Chennai further conceded pressure as they scored just three runs off Rashid’s first fours deliveries in the 12th over.
But Dube smashed two back-to-back sixes on the last two deliveries and then Rayudu added three more boundaries off Mohit Sharma in the next over gaining a hand on the driving seat. The momentum shifted once again within seconds as Mohit dismissed Rayudu and Dhoni on consecutive deliveries.
Gujarat entered the last over as favorites after Shami conceded just eight runs in the penultimate over. Dhoni’s men required 13 runs off the last six balls with the stage set for a dramatic end and Mohit executed four excellent consecutive yorkers as CSK managed to score just three runs off the first four balls.
On the last two balls, Mohit missed his length bowling full-toss deliveries and Jadeja pulled off the impossible but there were no heroes from CSK camp as it was a team effort to clinch the record-levelling fifth IPL title.
Player of the Match award winner Conway top-scored with 47 runs off 25 balls while Dube remained unbeaten on 32 runs off 21 balls as Chennai chased 171 runs in 15 overs to become the most successful team in IPL history.