In a thrilling finale that had fans on the edge of their seats, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) emerged victorious against Gujarat Titans (GT) to claim their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title. The final took place iat the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday (May 29).
The final, which was played on the reserve day, provided all the entertainment it could to the spectators. And with that the 16th edition of the IPL has finally come to an end.
With rain playing spoilsport on Sunday (May 28 ), the summit clash was forced into the reserve day, and MS Dhoni had no hesitation in opting to field first with the rain threat around. GT scored 214 runs for the loss of three wickets, courtesy of Sai Sudharsan’s sublime 96 off 47 deliveries. He smashed eight fours and six maximums to lead the Gujarat side to a massive total.
In reply, CSK’s run chase was halted by relentless showers and the game was reduced to 15 overs, with the visiting side needing 171 runs to win.
While the top order contributed with cameos, the final was down to 10 off the last two deliveries, with Ravindra Jadeja on strike. The southpaw smashed a fuller delivery from Mohit Sharma straight down the ground and followed it up with a flick towards fine leg for a boundary to seal the game for the Super Kings.
When CSK skipper Dhoni came to speak after the match, he offered a cheerful update on his future as well. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Dhoni said he’ll return to action for one more season if his body allows it; that will be a gift for the fans who have loved him through out his IPL career.
The 41-year-old is in the last phase of his career and admitted it would be the best time to hang up his boots. But with the amount of love he has received across the globe, the CSK skipper will try his best to come back in the next edition.
“If you see circumstantially this is the best time for me to announce retirement. But the amount of love and affection I’ve been shown wherever I’ve been this year, the easy thing for me would be to say, ‘Thank you very much’. But the tough thing for me is to work hard for another nine months and come back and play at least one more season of IPL. But a lot depends on the body, I have six-seven months to decide and it will be more like a gift from my side [to the fans]. It’s not easy for me but the way they’ve shown their love and affection, that’s something I need to do for them,” said Dhoni.
He added: “You do get emotional for a simple fact that it’s the last part of my career and I think it started over here when I was playing the first game [of IPL 2023]. I just walked out and the full house was chanting my name. My eyes filled with [tears] and I just stood there in the dugout for a while, and I took my time and I realised that I want to enjoy it and not take the pressure. I think it was the same thing in Chennai, when I played my last game there, but it will be good to come back and play whatever I can.”
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The stalwart had a not-so-good outing with the bat in the final match as he got out for a first-ball duck. Dhoni scored 104 runs off 57 balls in twelve innings during the IPL 2023 season at an extraordinary strike rate of 182. Though the CSK skipper only batted for a few balls, the crowd enjoyed every moment he spent on the field this season.
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