AHMEDABAD: The Chennai Super Kings have won the Indian Premier League for a record-equaling fifth time with a last-ball, five-wicket victory over the defending champion Gujarat Titans.
Ravindra Jadeja plundered a six and a four from the last two deliveries against Mohit Sharma to help the Super Kings chase down a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs.
The IPL needed three days to complete the final. It was washed out on Sunday, started late Monday and finished after 1:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. But it was worth it.
Chennai was squeezed by medium-pacer Sharma in the last over and the equation got to 10 runs required off two balls. Sharma got his length wrong and Jadeja hit a straight six. Sharma then got his line wrong and Jadeja hit a four to fine leg to complete a stunning win.
“I was just thinking I need to swing hard, as much as I can," Jadeja said. “Where the ball will go, I was not thinking about that. I was backing myself and looking to hit straight, because I know Mohit can bowl those slower balls.”
Chennai's record-equaling fifth title also gave retiring batter Ambati Rayudu a sixth IPL title, tying him with Rohit Sharma as the league’s most successful players.
“It's a fairytale finish,” Rayudu said. “I'm fortunate to have played in really great sides. I can smile for the rest of my life.”
Gujarat was sent in to bat first and posted 214-4 — the highest ever total in an IPL final — highlighted by 96 from Sai Sudharsan.
Rain halted Chennai’s chase in the first over for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and reduced the target and length of the innings. Chennai needed every single ball to make a thrilling 171-5.
A fantastic launch was shared by openers Devon Conway, 47 off 25 balls, and Ruturaj Gaikwad, 26 off 16. They raised a half-century stand within the four-over powerplay, including 17 runs in legspinner Rashid Khan’s first over.
Spinner Noor Ahmad removed both openers in the same over but Chennai kept coming hard. Ajinkya Rahane added 27 off 13, and Rayudu struck Mohit Sharma for 6-4-6 in the 13th over before the bowler responded with consecutives wickets.
He took a return catch to dismiss Rayudu and had Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught at extra-cover for a first-ball duck. That left Shivam Dube, who scored an unbeaten 32 off 21, with Jadeja.
Dhoni, who has led the Chennai franchise since the start of the IPL, said he'd be prepared to continue after guiding the team to 10 finals.
“The easy thing for me to say is, ‘Thank you,’ and retire,” the 41-year-old former India captain said. "But the hard thing to do is to work hard for nine months and try to play one more IPL season. … The amount of love I have received from CSK fans, it would be a gift for them to play one more season.”
Mohammed Shami bowled a brilliant penultimate over, leaving Chennai needing 13 runs off six balls. Mohit Sharma, who ended up with 3-36, conceded just three runs off the first four deliveries until Jadeja's last-gasp heroics.
Earlier, Chennai’s early lapses in the field gave Gujarat momentum. Deepak Chahar missed catching chances against Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha.
Gill, who top-scored in the tournament with 890 runs, made 39 off 20 before he was stumped by Dhoni. Saha made 54.
Sudharsan shared two half-century stands; 64 with Saha and 81 off 33 with Titans captain Hardik Pandya.
Sudharsan smashed eight boundaries and six sixes and dominated the late overs. He was in sight of a deserving century in the last over until pacer Matheesha Pathirana pinned him with a superb yorker.
“We tick a lot of boxes and we play with our heart,” Pandya said. “We’ve always been a team that has stood together and no one gave up. We win together and we lose together, maybe one of those games today.
“I’m very happy for (Dhoni). Destiny had this written for him. If I had to lose, I don’t mind losing to him. Good things happen to good people.”