Rain had delayed the proceedings once again, pushing the final till the early hours of Tuesday when it was already deferred to its reserve day — Monday — with Sunday being a washout.
For sure that period of no play was frustrating for the players as well as the turnout. But after the decider finally resumed at 10 minutes past midnight on Tuesday, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Super Kings who held their nerves and were all smiles having won their fifth IPL crown at the amphitheatre-like Motera in Ahmedabad.
Chennai Super Kings beat the Gujarat Titans in this rain-affected, nail-biting epic final by five wickets.
Put into bat, the Titans posted a massive 214/4, riding on young Sai Sudharsan’s breathtaking 47-ball 96, Wriddhiman Saha’s foundation-laying 39-ball 54, Deepak Chahar’s reprieve to Shubman Gill (who was on three then) and CSK’s overall below-par fielding.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifts up match-winner Ravindra Jadeja at the Motera after Chennai Super Kings win their fifth IPL title, beating Gujarat Titans by five wickets in Ahmedabad. The stop-start match, which began on Monday, finished well past midnight early on Tuesday. Twitter
Set a revised target of 171 in 15 overs, openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway — resuming from 4/0 before rain interruption — gave the Super Kings the kind of start they required. Afghanistan spinner Noor Ahmad, one of the consistent bowlers in the Titans attack, then applied the brakes with his left-arm spin and also dismissed both the CSK openers to regain his team the momentum.
Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu, in his final IPL appearance, reduced the equation to 22 off 15 balls for CSK with a flurry of maximums. The momentum though again swung the Titans’ way as Mohit Sharma picked up Rahane, Rayudu and captain Dhoni.
With 13 required off the last over, Mohit was spot-on with his yorker and full-length stuff to concede only three off the first four balls. But he erred just a little bit in length and Ravindra Jadeja hit a six off the penultimate ball to make it four required off the last ball. That last ball was a full toss on the leg side, and Jadeja was smart enough to work it past fine leg for a four.
No wonder Dhoni was a relieved man.