In a nail-biting encounter, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) emerged victorious in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final against the Gujarat Titans (GT), securing their fifth title. The match, which took place at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, saw CSK win by five wickets, following the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method due to rain interruptions.
Before the match began, Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl first. Both teams announced their playing XI, with CSK making one change by bringing in Matheesha Pathirana for Shivam Dube. The substitutes for CSK included Shivam Dube, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, and Akash Singh.
Gujarat Titans, on the other hand, named an unchanged eleven, with Josh Little, KS Bharat, Odean Smith, Sai Kishore, and Shivam Mavi making up their substitutes list.
First Innings: Gujarat Titans’ Batting
The Gujarat Titans started their innings with openers Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha, who initially struggled to score runs against the disciplined CSK bowling attack. However, Saha found his rhythm in the third over, hitting a series of boundaries against Deepak Chahar. Gill also joined the party, punishing Tushar Deshpande for three delightful fours in the fourth over.
Despite a few lucky breaks, Saha and Gill continued to put on a strong show, with the Titans reaching 62/0 at the end of the powerplay. CSK finally got their breakthrough in the seventh over when MS Dhoni’s lightning-fast glovework caught Gill off-guard, resulting in a stumping off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling.
Sai Sudharsan then joined Saha at the crease, and together they maintained the momentum for the Titans. Sudharsan played some exquisite shots, while Saha completed his half-century off 36 balls. The duo’s partnership of 65 runs came to an end when Saha (54 off 39) was caught behind off a slower ball from Chahar.
The wicket did not deter Sudharsan, who continued his aggressive batting, hitting boundaries and sixes at will. He reached his third fifty of the season and eventually fell just four runs short of a century, dismissed LBW by Pathirana. His innings of 96 off 47 balls received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Despite losing two more wickets in the final over, the Gujarat Titans set a formidable target of 214/4 for the Chennai Super Kings to chase.
Second Innings: Chennai Super Kings’ Batting
CSK’s innings began with openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway, who got off to a flying start. However, rain interrupted play, and the match was subsequently shortened to 15 overs, with CSK requiring 171 runs to win. This also resulted in a revised powerplay of four overs, and a maximum of three overs per bowler.
After the rain delay, Gaikwad and Conway continued their assault on the GT bowlers, reaching 52/0 at the end of the powerplay. GT’s Noor Ahmad provided the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing both Gaikwad (26 off 16) and Conway (47 off 25) in quick succession.
Ajinkya Rahane, who came in next, hit two sixes off Josh Little, while Noor Ahmad completed his spell with impressive figures of 3-0-17-2. Rahane’s cameo (27 off 13) was cut short by Mohit Sharma, who also claimed the crucial wicket of MS Dhoni in the same over.
With the required run rate increasing, Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu took on the responsibility of getting CSK closer to the target. Rayudu, playing his last IPL match, hit a few boundaries before being caught and bowled by Mohit Sharma. The match went down to the wire, with CSK needing 13 runs off the last over.
Ravindra Jadeja, the hero of the day, delivered in the final moments of the match. With 10 runs required off the last two balls, Jadeja hit a six followed by a four, sealing victory for the Chennai Super Kings and sparking wild celebrations among the team and fans.
Several players shone in the IPL 2023 final, but some standout performances include:
- Sai Sudharsan (GT): 96 off 47 balls
- Wriddhiman Saha (GT): 54 off 39 balls
- Devon Conway (CSK): 47 off 25 balls
- Ravindra Jadeja (CSK): Match-winning 15* off 6 balls
- Noor Ahmad (GT): 3-0-17-2
- Mohit Sharma (GT): 3/36
Both teams’ captains and key players spoke to the media after the thrilling finale. MS Dhoni, the winning captain, praised his team’s never-give-up attitude and lauded Jadeja’s match-winning performance. He also acknowledged the strong competition provided by the Gujarat Titans throughout the match.
Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya expressed his disappointment at the loss but congratulated CSK on their win. He praised his team’s effort, especially Sudharsan’s knock, and said they would come back stronger next season.
The IPL 2023 final was a fitting end to an exciting season, with both teams showcasing their skills and fighting spirit. Chennai Super Kings’ thrilling last-ball victory over the Gujarat Titans will go down in history as one of the most memorable moments in IPL history. As the curtains close on yet another successful season, fans eagerly await the return of the IPL in 2024.