The Chennai Super Kings won the IPL for the fifth time in a game that lived up to the title match. With only two balls left and 10 runs needed, Ravindra Jadeja hit Mohit Sharma for a six down the ground and a four to fine leg. This was one of the most exciting ends to a tournament game ever.
More about the end…
During the chase, which was cut short by rain, the game went back and forth. CSK was helped by a run of cameos, but they seemed to lose their footing at the end. Mohit Sharma was the star of the show, taking two wickets and helping Mohammed Shami go 13 balls without a boundary.
It had the first four balls of the last over, when 13 were needed. Mohit had some early success when he switched to a speed-up, full-length strategy, but Jadeja stayed deep in the crease to first loft a six down the ground and then wait for a low full toss to swing it to the fine leg fence, setting off wild celebrations in front of 75,000 people who had stayed even though it rained.
Who else helped CSK?
With a new goal of 171 in 15 overs, Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad opened the game and set the tone. The first player was the aggressor, getting 47 runs in the first 74-run stand. Both of them went down quickly, and Afghanistan’s young left-arm spinner Noor Ahmed turned the game around by getting two wickets in a run of 2-17.
But CSK never stopped hitting. Ajinkya Rahane stepped up with 27 runs off 13 balls, and Ambati Rayudu hit 19 runs off 8 balls in his last IPL game. Shivam Dube had been struggling to get his strike rate up, but on Rashid Khan’s last two balls, he found his hitting range and hit two important sixes before the end, which made for a good finish for CSK even though MS Dhoni got a golden duck. The way they did things was partly determined by the position they were in. A long rain delay had put them in a corner where they could only go one way.
Another wait for rain?
Yes, and it was one that made the game go on for almost two hours into a third day. After Gujarat Titans, led by Sai Sudharsan, put on a strong batting effort, the game was stopped for more than two hours because a square was getting a lot of water.
The Show with Sai
Sai Sudharsan’s brilliant 96 off 47 runs helped the Gujarat Titans get the best score ever in an IPL final. Gujarat Titans did the right thing by putting in a left-hander early, which kept CSK’s bowlers from getting comfortable. And the Tamil Nadu batsman, who is 21 years old, made sure he did what was asked of him.
His innings got off to a slow start because he only got 10 runs off the first 12 balls. But his strike rate going up at the same time as CSK’s best death bowling plans didn’t work out. In his first two overs, Matheesha Pathirana, who was their best bowler, gave Sudharsan two fours and Theekshana gave him two sixes. But Tushar Deshpande got the worst of it when he went for 6, 4, 4, 4, and hit a packed wide field with six balls. In the last over, he hit Pathirana for two more sixes before being caught LBW. However, the in-form Shubman Gill had done what was expected of him.
How did Gill fare?
Usually with a lot of potential, as Gujarat had scored the most runs in the powerplay in an IPL final thanks in large part to his 20-ball 39. During his appearance, he hit seven fours. Early on, a dropped catch at backward square leg helped him after Deepak Chahar messed up a trap. Because of mistakes in the field, Gill was able to hit CSK’s top spinner Theekshana for three straight boundaries when he came into the powerplay. But just as he was getting ready to hit, Jadeja beat him and pulled him out with a big turner. MS Dhoni, who was playing in his 250th IPL game, caught the ball well. Gill leaving GT early didn’t hurt them as much as it should have because other people helped out.
Saha steps up
Saha made sure that CSK paid for their mistakes, which included a dropped catch and a missed chance to run out the ball. He got his second fifty of the season and took out Deepak Chahar with 6, 4, 4, in an over by taking advantage of the fielding restrictions during the powerplay. He played the part of enforcer to perfection during that time. His fifty was the right link between Gill’s early attacks and Sai’s later ones as Gujarat scored 214, which was not enough in the end.
Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans (Sai Sudharsan 96, Wriddhiman Saha 54) lost to Chennai Super Kings (Devon Conway 47, Shivam Dube 32*) by 5 wickets (DLS method).