AHMEDABAD: MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated holders Gujarat Titans (GT) by five wickets in a rain-interrupted 2023 IPL final to claim the coveted trophy for the fifth time at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday.
With the title, CSK equaled Mumbai Indians' record of winning the tournament for most number of times. Rains disrupted the final soon at the start of the chase for CSK as GT put up a formidable total of 214.
Following a delay, the match was reduced to 15 overs and CSK were given a revised target of 171.
Rain halted the game after just three balls into Chennai Super Kings' innings. CSK got a revised target of 171 runs from 15 overs.
Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave CSK a flying start, scoring 52 in the power play, or first four overs. They continued connecting the ball well and hit 72 in the first 6 overs. However, Noor Ahmad broke the partnership soon after he dismissed Gaikwad, who scored 26 from 16 deliveries. The Afghanistan bowler in the same over also picked the wicket of set batsman Conway, after scoring 47 from 25 deliveries.
Some good hits by Ajinkya Rahane kept CSK in the hunt, before Mohit Sharma got his wicket after he scored 27 from 13 balls. Shivam Dube initially struggled to connect the ball until he hit Rashid Khan's deliveries out of the park in consecutive deliveries, boosting his confidence.
Ambati Rayudu, playing the last game of his IPL career, joined the party to hit two sixers and a boundary before perishing trying to hit Sharma again.
This brought in CSK captain Dhoni to the crease but he scored a golden duck and it was Mohit Sharma again who picked the wicket that mattered.
CSK needed 13 of the last over and Sharma was entrusted to bowl the final over. Sharma started the over with two brilliant yorkers and a full delivery to keep GT's hopes alive as CSK needed 11 from three deliveries. Jadeja hit a 6 of the fifth delivery and the game was down to the wire. CSK needed four from the final delivery and wayward legside delivery helped Jadeja guide the ball down the leg for a boundary, helping CSK win by five wickets.
Dhoni-led CSK's win marked the most befitting end to an IPL season that saw most grounds in India turning yellow as fans even in rival cities adorned yellow jerseys as a tribute to captain cool amid speculations of this being a swan-song season for the 41-year old captain.
Earlier, Gujarat Titans batter Sai Sudharsan slammed the highest score by an uncapped batter in an IPL final.
Sudharsan hit 96 off 47 deliveries as the Titans posted the highest team score in an IPL final - 214 for four. Walking at the fall of Shubman Gill’s wicket after the seventh over, Sudharsan teamed up with Wriddhiman Saha to put up a 64-run stand for the second wicket.
The 21-year-old then took the attack to the CSK bowlers and racked up eight fours and six sixes to notch up the third-highest individual knock in an IPL final.
Sudharsan featured in five matches last season, managing 145 runs in five innings before he was retained. The southpaw played a crucial role in the early stages this season before GT dropped him for the sake of its combination.
In eight innings this year, Sudharsan has accumulated 362 runs averaging 51.71 with a strike rate of 141.41.
GT made the most of the opportunity as CSK made uncharacteristic fielding errors.
Early momentum was gained by GT when Chahar dropped an easy catch, allowing Gill to survive. GT capitalised on this chance, scoring 30 runs in the next two overs. Sudharsan emerged as the game-changer with an extraordinary innings, narrowly missing a century.
At just 21 years and 226 days old, Sudharsan became one of the youngest batters to achieve a 50-plus score in an IPL final, joining a prestigious list that includes Manan Vohra, Shubman Gill, and Rishabh Pant.