Chennai Super Kings, led by the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, added a fifth title victory to their impressive IPL journey on Monday by defeating Gujarat Titans by five wickets in an exciting summit matchup in Ahmedabad.
Since the start of the Indian Premier League this year, Dhoni has been the centre of attention, and in a fitting way, the captain concluded the tournament with a record-tying fifth championship.
After being asked to bat first, B Sai Sudharsan blasted 96 in 47 balls as Gujarat Titans reached 214 for four.
In what may be MS Dhoni’s final appearance in the T20 league, CSK achieved the revised goal of 171 in 15 overs after rain halted play at the start of the second innings in a final that was postponed to the reserve day due to severe downpour.
As the guys in the yellow jersey ran onto the pitch to claim victory for CSK, Ravindra Jadeja smacked a six and a four off Mohit Sharma in the final two balls. Dhoni stayed in the bench, his eyes closed.
In terms of most IPL trophy victories, neither the Gujarat Titans’ juggernaut nor the two days of terrible weather could prevent Dhoni’s team from catching up to their bitter rivals, the Mumbai Indians.
Given that the whole IPL and even the final were dominated by Dhoni-mania, it is unclear if Dhoni would return to head CSK again in 2019.
To witness MS Dhoni win the IPL once more, the supporters packed the Narendra Modi Stadium to capacity for two days, didn’t let bad weather dissuade them, and waited well past midnight on Monday for a shortened game to begin.
In the end, CSK won by using the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method to defeat the defending champions.
In just 6.3 overs, Ruturaj Gaikwad (26) and Devon Conway (47) removed 74 runs from the mark. Shivam Dube persevered until the very finish with an undefeated 32, but CSK’s prospects dwindled after losing Ajinkya Rahane (27), Ambati Rayudu (19), and Dhoni (0) in rapid succession.
CSK could only muster three singles off the first four balls of the last over when they needed 13 runs to win.
Mohit Sharma (3/36), GT’s finest death bowler, was turned around by Jadeja, who struck him for a six and a four on the final two balls to secure the victory for his team.
The legendary Dhoni did not let his knee injury show when he was on the pitch, despite the fact that it limited his movement.
He was still as adroit behind the wickets as ever. Whatever area of the country he travelled to for this IPL, Captain Cool basked in the grandeur of playing in front of yellow-clad spectators, whether marshalling his soldiers or issuing orders.
Sudharsan, the second-highest run-scorer for the Gujarat Titans this year, sped to his third fifty in the IPL by hitting back-to-back fours off Matheesha Pathirana.
After a slow start, the young left-handed batter from Chennai recovered nicely and picked up the pace after the 14th over, smashing two sixes off Theekshana and three fours and a six off Deshpande.
In fact, Sudharsan had already scored 36 runs off of 25 balls when Saha was dismissed, and the 21-year-old scored 60 runs off the following 21 balls he faced.