Ravindra Jadeja hit a six and four off the last two balls as the Chennai Super Kings edged out the Gujarat Titans to win a record-equalling fifth IPL title and send superstar MS Dhoni out with a bang in his likely swansong.
Chennai chased down their revised target of 171 in 15 overs with five wickets to spare in a rain-hit IPL final which went past 1:30am local time on a reserve day in Ahmedabad following a washout on Sunday.
New Zealand’s Devon Conway led the chase with his 25-ball 47 before cameos from Ajinkya Rahane (27) and Shivam Dube, who hit an unbeaten 32, set the stage for Jadeja’s heroics.
Needing 13 off the final over, Mohit Sharma bowled four good balls before Jadeja hit the winning runs to trigger wild celebrations at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.
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Two shots of excellence and composure!
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 29, 2023
Chennai won the title for the fifth time to go level with the Mumbai Indians.
The match is likely to be Dhoni’s last of his glittering career as the 41-year-old kept attracting huge crowds across venues this season and over 80,000 fans cheered the veteran, who had said he will take a call on his future later this year, in the final.
Playing his 250th IPL match, Dhoni got out for a first-ball duck as he went back to a stunned silence, but he had the last laugh in his 10th appearance in the final as Chennai captain.
Rain forced players off the ground when Chennai were 4-0 after three balls of their innings.
The downpour lasted for about 15 minutes but covers came off from one of the pitches which got damp and the ground staff worked for over two hours to get the field ready for play.
Sai Sudharsan smashed 96 off 47 balls to guide Gujarat, a team that won the crown in their debut season last year in the T20 competition and topped the table in this edition, to 214-4.
In-form Gujarat opener Shubman Gill hit a 20-ball 39.
Gill, fresh from his third century this season in the last playoff and who leads the batting chart with 890 runs, was dropped on three when Deepak Chahar spilled an easy catch off fast bowler Tushar Deshpande.
The opener smashed Deshpande for three straight boundaries in the next over and kept up the attack with regular hits to the fence before Dhoni’s lightning quick glovework sent back the batsman, stumped off Jadeja.
Fellow opener Wriddhiman Saha made 54 and put on 64 runs with Sudharsan, who took charge after his partner’s departure.
As was the case in the second qualifier, David Miller did not get the chance to bat.
© Agence France-Presse