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Jadeja provides stunning finish to power CSK to 5th IPL title


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Ahmedabad: Ravindra Jadeja hammered a six and a four with 10 needed off the last two balls to provide an exhilarating finish to power Chennai Super Kings to their fifth IPL title as they defeated defending champions Gujarat Titans by 5 wickets (DLS Method) in an humdinger at the Narendra Modi Stadium here early Tuesday morning.

Jadeja smashed 15* off 6 balls as 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 Chennai chase down 171 from 15 overs in a rain-reduced IPL final.

Earlier, an uncapped Sai Sudharsan showcased his raw talent in IPL final with a superb 96 off 47 balls, ably supported by Wriddhiman Saha (54 off 39) and Shubman Gill 39 (20) to help Gujarat post a mammoth 214/4 before rain forced the match to be shortened to 15 overs.

In reply, Ruturaj and Conway started off with a bang. The Indian star began with a languid square drive for a four off the third ball of the innings from Mohammad Shami, but rain gods intervened to stop the play, and the match was reduced to 15 overs, with Chennai needing to score 171 revised target.

The Powerplay was reduced to four overs while a bowler could bowl a maximum of three overs.

As play resumed, Gaikwad dispatched another boundary in the unfinished first over as he pulled one through backward square leg to make it 10 runs off it.

Chennai openers were severe against Shami and Rashid Khan as they went after them straightaway, hammering a couple of boundaries and a six to take them to 52/0 at the end of the Powerplay (4th over).

The impressive Noor Ahmad got the much-needed breakthrough for Gujarat as he broke the 74-run opening stand by sending back Gaikwad (26 off 16) via a wrong one.

Chennai 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 Chennai back.

Rahane began with two exquisite sixes off Josh Little to make it a 16-run over. Noor, however, conceded just five as he finished with impressive figures of 3-0-17-2.

Rahane got the momentum back again with a couple of boundaries off Rashid to bring the equation down to 60 needed off 30.

Mohit Sharma had the last laugh by sending back Rahane (27 off 13), caught a deep point off a slower one in the 11th over. He bowled a magnificent over and leaked 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 Shivam Dube, who was not getting his timing right, ultimately got it as he blistered two consecutive sixes 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 Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the 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, Sudharsan narrowly missed out on his hundred, a knock coming off just 47 balls. Obviously, he was the gamechanger after opener Wriddhiman Saha’s 54 off 39 balls.

Sudarshan was on a different planet, batting with such finesse that he kept finding the boundaries at will. He became the highest scorer in the IPL final as an uncapped batsman. The TN lad was bought for the base price of Rs 20 lakh by Gujarat before 2022 IPL season.

In eight innings this year, Sudharsan has accumulated 362 runs averaging 51.71 with a strike rate of 141.41.

After losing the toss, Gujarat started off with a bang with Saha and inform Gill stitched 67 runs in 7 overs. Gill, who has been in a murderous form, marched back to the dugout after star left-arm spinner Jadeja after making 39 off 20 balls. He was smartly stumped by Dhoni.

Saha went on to belt fifty, before he was scalped by Deepak Chahar who had dropped the opener when he was on three.

Capitalising on Saha’s foundation-laying knock, inform Sudharsan whacked 6 sixes and 8 boundaries in his hurricane knock. Captain Hardik helped the team to get past the 200-mark along with Sudarshan as he blistered an unbeaten 21 runs in 12 balls, before Rashid was caught in the deep for a duck in the last ball of the Gujarat innings.

Chennai were off-colour in the field as they missed catches and run out opportunities. Chahar dropped a dolly from Gill on 2. Thereafter 30 runs were knocked off successive two overs, giving a huge momentum for Gujarat who were thirsting for it.

One of the world class fielders, Jadeja fumbled a relatively easy opportunity to run Saha out, but did outfox Gill with a beauty in the same over.

Tushar Deshpande gave away 56 runs in his four overs.

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