In a game that will go down in history as one of the most dramatic finales of the tournament, Chennai Super Kings emerged as champions of IPL 2023, beating Gujarat Titans by 5 wickets (DLS method) in the final. With 10 runs needed off the last two deliveries, Ravindra Jadeja played a match-winning knock, hitting a six down the ground and a four to fine leg off Mohit Sharma to clinch the title for CSK for the fifth time.
The game was a rain-curtailed chase, and CSK had a revised target of 171 in 15 overs. The opening duo of Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad set the tone for the chase with a 74-run partnership, with Conway hitting 47 off 29 balls. However, Gujarat Titans’ young left-arm spinner Noor Ahmed triggered a turnaround with a double blow, dismissing both openers in quick succession.
Despite the wobble, CSK kept up the hitting tempo, with Ajinkya Rahane scoring a quickfire 27 off 13 balls, and Ambati Rayudu smashing an 8-ball 19 in his final IPL innings. Shivam Dube struggled to get his strike rate up, but he found his hitting range off Rashid Khan’s last two deliveries and struck two important sixes.
The game was marred by rain delays, with the second delay dragging the game nearly two hours into a third calendar day. Gujarat Titans had put on a powerful batting performance, with Sai Sudharsan playing a scintillating knock of 96 off 47 balls. The 21-year-old Tamil Nadu batter started slowly but picked up his strike rate as CSK’s best laid death bowling plans faltered.
Sudharsan hit six sixes and nine boundaries in his innings, and his punishment of Tushar Deshpande, who went for 6, 4, 4, 4, was particularly brutal. Shubman Gill also played a cameo, hitting seven boundaries in his 20-ball 39. However, his end was brought about by some sharp glovework from MS Dhoni, who played his 250th IPL game.
In the end, CSK’s total of 171/5 proved to be enough, thanks to Jadeja’s heroics. The all-rounder finished the chase with a six and a four off the last two balls, triggering manic celebrations in front of a 75000 crowd that had stayed back despite the rain delays.