Chennai Super Kings clinched their fifth IPL championship in a highly intense final that perfectly matched the stakes. Requiring 10 runs from the last two balls, Ravindra Jadeja displayed incredible skill by hitting a six straight down the ground and a four to the fine leg boundary off Mohit Sharma. This breathtaking finish will be remembered as one of the most thrilling conclusions in the tournament's history.
Further details regarding the conclusion..
In a match affected by rain and shortened chase, the game's momentum shifted back and forth. CSK received valuable contributions from multiple players in quick succession, but they faced a bit of uncertainty towards the end. Mohit Sharma emerged as the standout performer, taking two wickets and effectively preventing the opposition from scoring boundaries for 13 consecutive deliveries alongside Mohammed Shami.
The match reached a crucial point during the last four deliveries of the game, with the batting team requiring 13 runs to win. Mohit, the bowler, changed his strategy by bowling at a faster pace and aiming for a full-length delivery. Initially, he achieved some success, but Jadeja, the batsman, cleverly positioned himself deep in the crease. With skillful timing, Jadeja first hit a six straight down the ground and then took advantage of a low full toss, directing it towards the fine leg boundary. This spectacular shot ignited wild celebrations in front of a massive crowd of 75,000 spectators who had patiently endured rain delays.
Which other individuals contributed to CSK?
Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad started off strong as the opening pair, establishing the initial momentum with a partnership of 74 runs after a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs was set. Conway took on the role of the aggressor, scoring 47 runs quickly. However, their partnership was short-lived as Afghanistan's talented young left-arm spinner, Noor Ahmed, turned the tide by quickly taking two wickets. He finished with figures of 2-17, initiating a turnaround in the match.
However, CSK maintained their aggressive batting approach throughout the match. Ajinkya Rahane contributed a quick 27 runs off just 13 balls, while Ambati Rayudu made a strong impact with 19 runs off only 8 balls in his last IPL innings. Shivam Dube initially struggled to increase his strike rate, but he found his rhythm in the final two deliveries of Rashid Khan's over. He hit two crucial sixes, adding to CSK's positive momentum. Despite MS Dhoni's early dismissal without scoring (golden duck), CSK finished on a high note. This strategy was influenced by the challenging circumstances they faced due to a prolonged rain delay, which limited their options and forced them to adopt a specific approach.
Are we experiencing yet another delay due to rain?
Yes, it was a match that extended close to two hours into a third day on the calendar. A short rain shower resulted in significant water seepage on a section of the field, leading to a game suspension of over two hours. This happened after Gujarat Titans, led by Sai Sudharsan, displayed an impressive batting performance.
The Sai Show
Sai Sudharsan's scintillating innings of 96 off 47 deliveries played a crucial role in Gujarat Titans achieving the highest score in an IPL final. The team made a strategic move by sending in a left-handed batsman early, preventing the bowlers of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) from settling into a rhythm. Despite a slow start, the 21-year-old Tamil Nadu batter gradually increased his strike rate, capitalising on CSK's plans for effective death bowling.
Sudharsan's onslaught began with two boundaries off Matheesha Pathirana, the specialist bowler for CSK, in the first two overs. He followed it up with two towering sixes off Theekshana. However, Tushar Deshpande faced the brunt of Sudharsan's assault, conceding four consecutive boundaries (6, 4, 4, 4) despite CSK's packed offside field. Sudharsan continued his onslaught in the final over, hitting two more sixes off Pathirana before eventually getting dismissed via LBW. Nonetheless, he successfully fulfilled the expectations placed upon him, completing the task that was initially assigned to the in-form Shubman Gill.
What was Gill's outcome?
With much promise, Gujarat had achieved the highest powerplay score in an IPL final, largely thanks to his impressive innings of 39 runs off 20 balls. His cameo included seven boundaries, aided by a fortunate escape when Deepak Chahar failed to hold onto a catch at backward square leg. The opposition's fielding lapses further allowed Gill to take on CSK's main spinner, Theekshana, by striking him for three consecutive boundaries within the powerplay. However, just as he gained momentum, Gill's dismissal came from a well-executed stumping by MS Dhoni, who was playing his 250th IPL game. Ravindra Jadeja deceived Gill with a sharp turning delivery, enticing him to come forward and ultimately dragging him out of the crease. Despite Gill's early departure, Gujarat Tigers (GT) managed to cope well as other players made valuable contributions.
Also Read: Jadeja Shines on Vintage Chepauk Pitch
Saha seizes the moment
Once more, taking advantage of fielding mistakes and escaping a missed opportunity for a run-out and a dropped catch, Saha ensured that CSK faced the consequences. By scoring his second fifty of the season and capitalising on the fielding limitations during the powerplay, he flawlessly executed the role of an aggressive batsman during that phase. He dismantled Deepak Chahar in one over with consecutive six, four, four shots. His half-century served as a crucial link between Gill's initial onslaught and later Sai's contributions, allowing Gujarat to accumulate a total of 214 runs, which ultimately fell short of what was needed.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings defeated Gujarat Titans by 5 wickets (DLS method) in a match where Gujarat Titans scored 214/4 in 20 overs, with Sai Sudharsan making 96 and Wriddhiman Saha scoring 54. Chennai Super Kings chased the target, reaching 171/5 in 20 overs, with Devon Conway contributing 47 and Shivam Dube scoring an unbeaten 32.
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