Ravindra Jadeja emerged as the hero, smashing a six and a four off the last two balls as Chennai successfully chased down the revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs with five wickets to spare.
Amid speculation about his retirement, the legendary Indian cricketer M.S. Dhoni, who captained Chennai, expressed his intention to return for the next IPL season. The final was believed by many to be his last match, and he led his team to a record-equalling fifth title.
The final, which was initially scheduled on Sunday but got washed out, took place on a reserve day in Ahmedabad and stretched past 1.30 am local time on Tuesday. New Zealand’s Devon Conway played a crucial role, scoring a quickfire 47 off just 25 balls, while contributions from Ajinkya Rahane (27) and Shivam Dube (32 not out) set the stage for Jadeja’s heroics.
Chasing 13 runs off the final over, Chennai faced some tense moments as Mohit Sharma bowled well, but Jadeja’s final blows sealed the victory and sparked jubilant celebrations at the world’s largest cricket stadium.
In a post-match interview, the 41-year-old Dhoni expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support he received and mentioned that retiring would be the easier option, but he would instead work hard for nine months to make a comeback for another IPL season.
Chennai’s triumph saw them equal Mumbai Indians’ record of winning the IPL title five times. Throughout the season, Dhoni continued to attract massive crowds, and over 80,000 fans cheered for him in the final. However, in his 250th IPL match, Dhoni was dismissed for a first-ball duck, leaving the crowd stunned.
Ambati Rayudu, who had announced his retirement before the final, played a crucial cameo of 19 runs off eight balls in his last match for Chennai.
The final encountered rain interruptions, with Chennai beginning their innings at 4 without loss after three balls before the players had to leave the field. After a 15-minute downpour, the groundstaff worked tirelessly for over two hours to prepare the field for play.
Gujarat, the reigning champions from their debut season, set a challenging target of 214-4 with Sai Sudharsan smashing an impressive 96 off 47 balls. Despite their efforts, Gujarat couldn’t defend the total as Chennai’s determined chase led them to victory.
Captain Hardik Pandya praised his team’s spirit and resilience, highlighting their motto of sticking together through wins and losses.
Shubman Gill of Gujarat was named the most valuable player and received the orange cap for being the tournament’s leading batsman, scoring 890 runs. Mohammed Shami of Gujarat won the purple cap as the top bowler, claiming 28 wickets, with Mohit.