Ahmedabad: Ravindra Jadeja provided a grandstand finish, hitting a six and a four with 10 needed off the last two balls, to power Chennai Super Kings to their fifth IPL title as they beat defending champions Gujarat Titans by five wickets (DLS Method) in a thriller at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Jadeja smashed 15* off 6 balls as a collection of cameos from Devon Conway (47 off 25), Ruturaj Gaikwad (26 off 16), Shivam Dube (32* off 21). Ajinkya Rahane (27 off 13) and Ambati Rayudu (19 off 8) helped CSK chase down 171 from 15 overs in a rain-shortened IPL final.
Earlier, Sai Sudharsan had put on a stunning show on the big stage with a splendid 96 off 47 balls, ably supported by Wriddhiman Saha (54 off 39) and Shubman Gill 39 (20) to help GT post a mammoth 214/4 before rain forced the match to be shortened to 15 overs.
Chasing 171 from 15 overs, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway got CSK off to a flier. Ruturaj got off the mark in style with a lovely square drive for a four off the third ball of the innings from Mohd. Shami. But soon after rain stopped play and the match was reduced to 15-overs with CSK having to chase a revised target of 171 runs. The revised playing conditions meant the Powerplay was reduced to four overs while a bowler could bowl a maximum of three overs.
As play resumed, Gaikwad cracked another four in the unfinished first over as he pulled one through backward square leg to make it 10 runs off it. Devon Conway then got going straightaway as he lofted one over extra cover for a six off Hardik Pandya in the second over and then whipped one to fine leg for a four. He took the attack to Shami in the next over, smacking two more fours to accumulate 11 off it.
Hardik Pandya introduced Rashid Khan early into the attack but the CSK batters went after him straightaway, cracking a couple of fours and a six to take CSK to 52/0 at the end of the Powerplay (4th over).
Noor Ahmad bowled a good first over, giving away just six but Josh Little’s first over went for 14 as Conway thumped a pull over deep mid-wicket off the last ball of the sixth over.
The impressive Noor got the much-needed breakthrough for GT as he broke the 74-run opening stand by sending back Gaikwad (26 off 16) via a wrong’un. CSK then sent out Shivam Dube as their Impact Player, at No.3, replacing Matheesha Pathirana. Noor struck again off the final ball of the over to have Conway (47 off 25) caught at long off to peg CSK back.
Ajinkya Rahane arrived and got going in style with two exquisite sixes off Josh Little to make it a 16-run over. Noor Ahmad though balanced things out with another brilliant over, giving away just five as he finished with impressive figures of 3-0-17-2.
Rahane got the momentum back again with a couple of fours off Rashid to bring the equation down to 60 needed off 30.
Mohit Sharma arrived into the attack in the 11th over and struck straightaway to get the crucial wicket of Rahane (27 off 13), caught a deep point off a slower one. The GT pacer bowled a fantastic over and gave away just six as the equation came to 53 needed off 24 balls.
Rashid bowled four good balls, giving away just three in the 12th over but Dube finally found the middle of the bat as he thumped two sixes in a row to end the over on a high and amass 15 runs. Rayudu, playing his last IPL match, joined the party as he smacked the first ball of the 13th over from Mohit over long off for a six and then cracked a four off the next ball through extra cover, then thumped another six but Mohit hit back hard to have him caught and bowled off the next ball and then got the huge wicket of MS Dhoni off he next ball as he had him caught at extra cover. The roller-coaster saw 17 runs scored and two wickets taken as the equation came down to 21 needed off 12.
Shami bowled a very good penultimate over to give away just eight. With 13 needed off the last over, the experienced Mohit nailed four yorkers upfront and gave away just three runs. With 10 needed off two, the tables turned again as Mohit missed his marker and Jadeja smacked a six over long on. With four needed off the last ball, Mohit bowled a low full toss down the leg side and Jadeja swiped it to fine leg for a four to win it for CSK and spark wild celebrations.
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl. They made one change to the starting line-up as Matheesha Pathirana replaced Shivam Dube. The four-time champions named Shivam Dube, Mitchell Santner, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed and Akash Singh as their substitutes.
Gujarat Titans named an unchanged eleven. Josh Little, KS Bharat, Odean Smith, Sai Kishore and Shivam Mavi made it to their substitutes list.
Chennai Super Kings started off well as they bowled with discipline and accuracy and could have had both the openers back in the hut inside the Powerplay. The four-time champions didn’t give away any boundaries in the first two overs. And they could have had the in-form Shubman Gill back in the hut in as early as the second over but Deepak Chahar dropped one at backward square leg as Gill flicked one uppishly straight to the CSK pacer off Tushar Deshpande.
Wriddhiman Saha then opened up in the next over as he flicked one for a six and heaved the next for a four and then lofted one over cover to make it 16 off the Chahar over. Gill then joined the party as he made CSK pay for the drop with three delightful fours off Deshpande: A short arm Jab through mid-wicket, a flick through mid-wicket and a stand and deliver extra cover drive. Saha then got a bit lucky in the next over as he hit one uppishly straight back to Chahar who couldn’t hold on to a tough chance off his own bowling.
MS Dhoni then introduced spin via Maheesh Theekshana in the sixth over and Gill went after him straightaway, cracking three fours in a row to take GT to 62/0 at the end of the Powerplay.
Saha then got lucky not once but twice as he survived two run-out chances but then MS Dhoni provided a moment of brilliance as he sent back the dangerous Gill via lightning fast glovework to have him stumped off Ravindra Jadeja in the same over.
Jadeja helped CSK claw their way back as they kept things tight and gave away just 24 in the next four overs as GT reached 86/1 at the halfway mark.
Sai Sudharsan then provided some relief with a couple of well-placed fours through the off side, off Matheesha Pathirana as GT took 13 from the over. Saha then reached his fifty off 36 balls with a four off Jadeja and Sudharsan followed it up with a six over mid-wicket.
Dhoni brought back Chahar in the 14th over and the CSK pacer broke the 65-run stand as he had Saha caught behind off a slower ball as Saha (54 off 39) top-edged his pull off a leg cutter. That wicket didn’t deter Sudharsan though as he went on the counter-attack and hit a couple of sixes off Theekshana in the next over. He brought up his third fifty of the season as he cracked one through backward point for a four off Pathirana. He followed it up with a flicked four wide of mid on to make it 10 off the over. Sudharsan then went berserk in the next over off Deshpande, hitting three fours and a six to amass 20 runs off it. Pathirana balanced things out slightly by not conceding a boundary and giving away nine off the 18th over.
Captain Pandya and Sudharsan then took on Deshpande in the penultimate over, cracking a couple of sixes and a four to amass 18 off the over and take GT to 200. Sudharsan started the final over with two superb sixes but departed four short of his century off the next ball as he was trapped LBW by Pathirana. He reviewed it but the Ball Tracking replays showed all three reds. The youngster walked off to a standing ovation for his magnificent innings. Pathirana then removed Rashid Khan off the last ball as Gujarat Titans took 14 off the last over and posted 214/4.
Gujarat Titans introduced Josh Little as their Impact Player, replacing Sai Sudharsan at the start of the second innings.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 171/5 (Devon Conway 47, Shivam Dube 32; Mohit Sharma 3/36) beat Gujarat Titans 214/4 (Sai Sudharsan 96, Wriddhiman Saha 54; Matheesha Pathirana 2/44) by 5 wickets (DLS Method).