David Miller scored an unbeaten 32 off 19 balls as the Gujarat Titans beat the Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the IPL final on Sunday.
The tournament debutants reached their target of 131 with 11 balls to spare in front of a record crowd of 104,859 in Ahmedabad.
Hardik Pandya starred with bat and ball for Gujarat. The captain returned figures of 3-17 to restrict Rajasthan to 130-9 and then made 34 with the bat, before Shubman Gill (45) and Miller steered the Titans home.
It was a fairytale finish for a team that entered the IPL alongside the Lucknow Super Giants in the expanded 10-team tournament this year.
Pandya set up victory with his key wickets, including Jos Buttler’s prized scalp for 39, after Rajasthan, led by Sanju Samson, elected to bat first.
Buttler, who hit an unbeaten 106 in Rajasthan’s win in the second qualifier, finished this season as the leading batsman with 863 runs and his wicket raised the roof at the 132,000-capacity stadium.
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan returned impressive figures of 1-18 from his four overs of leg-spin to keep down the opposition scoring.
Pandya, who sent back his opposite number Samson for 14, kept up the pressure and got the big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer out for 11 with a caught and bowled.
Fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal, who got opener Yashasvi Jaiswal for 22, worked up good pace to keep Rajasthan on the backfoot from the start.
In reply, Gujarat lost Wriddhiman Saha for five and Matthew Wade for eight before Shubman and Gill and Pandya put the chase back on track.
The pair put on 63 runs for the third wicket to put the pressure back on the bowling side as Pandya smashed Ravichandran Ashwin for a four and six in the 12th over.
Yuzvendra Chahal got Pandya out with his leg-spin to overtake Wanindu Hasaranga of the Royal Challengers Bangalore as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament and finished with 27 scalps.
But Gill, who was dropped on nought by Chahal, stood firm to put on an unbeaten 47-run stand with left-handed Miller.
Gill’s 45 came from 43 balls and ended with a six that secured the victory. The two batsmen hugged and, as the fireworks erupted, the Gujarat players came running onto the pitch to celebrate.
Rajasthan were left dejected after their first final appearance since they won the inaugural edition in 2008 under late Australian hero Shane Warne.
© Agence France-Presse