After continuous cricket being played for almost two months, season 16 of the Indian Premier League came to an end. The cricket fans thoroughly enjoyed this competition as they witnessed several nail-biting finishes. But nature saved the best for the last. IPL 2023 final turned out to be the most thrilling encounter of the whole edition. The league ended in a way that nobody would have anticipated.
So, let’s rewind the exciting happenings of the best IPL final ever.
IPL 2023 started in Ahmedabad as the home team locked horns with Chennai Super Kings. The League stage of season 16 of the IPL ended after 70 matches. The defending champions, Gujarat Titans, topped the table with 20 points. Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants followed with 17 points each, but the former team got the 2nd position due to a better run rate.
Mumbai Indians was the 4th team to qualify with 16 points. The Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore just missed out with 14 points each. Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings had 12 points apiece, while Delhi Capitals got 10 points. Sunrisers Hyderabad ended its campaign at the bottom of the table with 8 points.
CSK defeated GT in the first qualifier, and MI knocked LSG out in the eliminator. Gujarat faced Mumbai in the second qualifier, and Shubman Gill’s special knock sent the 5-time IPL champions home. So, the two teams who got to the final were Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. These two sides were going to face each other for the 4th time this season.
IPL 2023 Final Day 1
The big final was scheduled on Sunday, 28th of May. Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, was chosen as the venue for the final. But the rain spoiled the fun, and no play was possible on Sunday. Thankfully, there was a reserve day for the final, and it was Monday.
Toss and Teams
The Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni won the toss and invited Gujarat Titans to bat first. Here are the playing XIs of both the teams for the IPL 2023 final:
CSK Playing XI
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad
2. Devon Conway
3. Ajinkya Rahane
4. Moeen Ali
5. Ambati Rayudu
6. Ravindra Jadeja
7. MS Dhoni (c & wk)
8. Deepak Chahar
9. Matheesha Pathirana
10. Tushar Deshpande
11. Maheesh Theekshana
GT Playing XI
1. Wriddhiman Saha (wk)
2. Shubman Gill
3. Sai Sudharsan
4. Hardik Pandya (c)
5. Vijay Shankar
6. David Miller
7. Rahul Tewatia
8. Rashid Khan
9. Mohammed Shami
10. Mohit Sharma
11. Noor Ahmad
Here are the details of the first innings of the IPL 2023 final:
A Solid Opening Stand
Deepak Chahar bowled the first ball of the match, and Wriddhiman Saha defended it into the off side. After a quiet first over, Tushar Deshpande was given the ball for the second one. He produced a great opportunity on the fourth ball of the over. The best batsman of the tournament, Shubman Gill, flicked the ball straight to Deepak Chahar. But he failed to hang on and grassed the opportunity.
The first two overs went for just 8 runs, and Saha decided to break the shackles. He stepped down to hit the first six of the innings. A dot ball followed it, but the next ball brought a four. The over went for 16 as the momentum shifted towards the batting side.
Gill got into the act by opening the fourth over with a boundary. The next two balls resulted in two more boundaries as the opener teed off. The openers were looking comfortable, and it forced MS Dhoni to bring in Maheesh Theekshana for the final over of the powerplay.
Shubman Gill charged him on his fourth delivery and creamed a delightful inside-out drive for a boundary. The opener was threatening to play another big knock, and CSK desperately needed to see the back of him. Ravindra Jadeja produced the deadly blow as Gill was stumped for 39 off 20.
Another Important Partnership
The dismissal brought Sai Sudharshan to the crease, and he formed a vital partnership with Saha. In the 13th over of the innings, the wicketkeeper-batsman brought up his half-century off 36 balls. Till that point, Sudharshan had scored just 23* off 19. Two balls later, he slog-swept Jadeja to get the first six of his innings.
Saha’s knock finally ended as he skied one in the air to be caught by Dhoni. At that stage, Gujarat were 131 for 2 after 14 overs. Sai Sudharshan played a couple of dots to start the next over. He was now 36 off 27 and needed to press the accelerator.
A Strong Finish
Maheesh Theekshana helped him by bowling a full toss, and the left-hander deposited it into the stands. The Sri Lankan then bowled a dot but was hammered for another six the next ball. On the third delivery of the 16th over, the leftie picked a boundary to get to a 33-ball fifty.
The 21-year-old started the next over by hitting a maximum. He continued the momentum by getting two fours in the next 3 balls. After 18 overs, Hardik Pandya was batting at 8*(7), and the score was 182 for 2. The Gujarat captain plundered a six over extra cover to improve his strike rate. He ended the over the same way as it leaked 18 runs.
Sai Sudharshan didn’t hold back either as he began the final over with a maximum over extra cover. The next ball went even bigger as he launched Matheesha Pathirana over cow corner. The bowler got his revenge by getting him LBW next ball.
But the batter had already done his job with a sensational knock of 96 off 47. Gujarat Titans posted 214 for 4 at the end of their innings.
The Return of Rain
The second innings started with a couple of dot balls before Ruturaj Gaikwad played a nice square drive to get the first boundary of the innings. Everything looked good, but the rain again returned to spoil the fun. Both teams left the ground, and in a few moments, the rain was pelting down.
The rain finally stopped after over an hour, but the outfield had taken up plenty of water. The long delay finally ended as the play started again. CSK were given a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs. This delay dragged the IPL 2023 final into the 3rd day. The match that was supposed to be concluded on Sunday was going on even after the start of Tuesday.
Let’s see how the chase went on:
Openers On Fire In Powerplay
Gaikwad continued from where he left before the break to get another boundary in the first over. The skipper Hardik Pandya came to bowl the second over. Devon Conway greeted him by charging down the second ball and hitting a six over extra cover. The fifth ball of the same over went for a four, and CSK were 24 for 0 after 2 overs.
The next over didn’t start well either for the bowling side. Conway smoked a length ball from Mohammed Shami through long-on to get another four. The next ball went for another boundary, and the over went for 11.
Such a horror start with the ball compelled Hardik Pandya to bring Rashid Khan into the attack in just the 4th over. However, he was also welcomed with a boundary from Conway. Gaikwad ended the over with a four and a six as CSK were 52 for 0 after the 4-over powerplay.
Noor Ahmad’s Double Strike
Noor Ahmad bowled the first economical over of the innings after the powerplay, which went for just 6 runs. The impact substitute Joshua Little was brought in, and he was also bowling a decent over. But the New Zealand batsman thumped the last ball of that over for a mighty six. The game was running away from Gujarat as CSK had scored 72 runs in just 6 overs.
Noor drew the first blood by dismissing Gaikwad for 26. The last ball of the same over saw the back of Conway as both the CSK openers were back in the hut in the space of just 4 balls. Chennai’s impact substitute Shivam Dube was at the crease now with Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahana wasted no time and smashed a six on the second ball of his innings. Two balls later, he lifted a length ball over long-off to get his second maximum. Noor Ahmad bowled the next over and went for just 5. His 3 overs brought 2 key wickets and gave only 17 runs. Now, the target for Chennai was 72 off 6 overs.
Rashid’s Struggle and Rayudu’s Destructive Cameo
Rashid Khan was bowling a decent 10th over, giving just 5 off the first 4 balls. Ajinkya Rahane took him for back-to-back fours to end the over. Mohit Sharma got the ball for the first time in the 11th over and started exceptionally well. He conceded only 6 off his first over and got rid of the dangerous-looking Rahane.
Rashid had gone for 29 runs in 2 overs, but the GT skipper trusted him with his third over. Once again, the leggie started really well and gave just 3 runs in the first 4 balls. Shivam Dube was struggling badly at 13* off 12, and the game was drifting away from Chennai with 50 needed off 20.
However, Dube kept the game alive by hitting 2 huge sixes on the last 2 deliveries of Rashid’s spell. The Afghan ended the game with the figures of 0 for 44 in 3 overs. Ambati Rayudu, who was playing his last IPL game, started the 18th over with a maximum.
He picked a four through the same region on the next ball. He continued this brutal assault by hitting a remarkable six over extra cover on the following delivery. Mohit Sharma was at the receiving end, and he got some relief as Rayudu departed on the next ball.
A Fairy Tale Finish
The equation of 22 off 14 still looked quite comfortable, but MS Dhoni departing for a golden duck made things interesting. With 15 required off 7, Ravindra Jadeja miscued one, which went high in the air. The fielder, Noor Ahmad, couldn’t reach it, and Jadeja got a reprieve.
Mohit Sharma was asked to defend 13 off the last over of the match. He decided to go full and straight and executed his yorkers exceptionally well. Only 3 runs came off the first 4 balls; now the equation was 10 off 2. The bowler went for the yorker again but missed by a small margin. Ravindra Jadeja made him pay by thrashing him for a straight six.
Now 4 were required off the last ball, and Mohit Sharma ended up bowling a full toss on the pads. Jadeja got enough bat on it to get to the fine-leg boundary. His unbelievable batting under pressure gave CSK a 5-wicket win and also their 5th IPL title.
IPL 2023 final included many twists and turns. The rain didn’t allow any play on Sunday. The match started on time on Monday, and the Gujarat Titans scored 214 runs in their 20 overs. Sai Sudharshan was the pick of the batters with a 47-ball 96.
The rain returned in the first over of the second innings. The target was revised to 171 runs in 20 overs. The top 5 batsmen in CSK’s batting lineup played useful cameos before Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliance sealed the deal for the Chennai Super Kings.
IPL 2023 Final Scorecard
Here’s the scorecard of the IPL 2023 final:
● Gujarat Titans Innings
|Wriddhiman Saha (wk)||54||39||138.46||5||1|
|Hardik Pandya (c)||21||12||175||0||2|
● Chennai Super Kings Innings
|MS Dhoni (c)†||0||1||0||0||0|