IPL 2023 winner: Chennai Super Kings grab title win after sensational heist in typical CSK style

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) etched their name in the annals of IPL history once again as they emerged IPL 2023 winner, winning their fifth title in a nail-biting final against the Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2023. The match, which had faced numerous rain delays, finally reached its crescendo in the early hours of Tuesday, with Ravindra Jadeja emerging as the hero with his sensational batting display in the last over.

The match commenced with CSK requiring 212 runs for victory in a rain-curtailed 15-over affair. The Titans had posted a challenging total of 214 for 4, courtesy of a blistering knock by Sai Sudharsan, who fell just short of a century with his 96 off 47 balls. Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha also made a valuable contribution with a half-century.

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IPL 2023 winner: CSK
Photo by Icon Sport

CSK began their chase with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway providing a solid foundation at the top. They stitched together a crucial partnership, but once the fielding restrictions were lifted, the Titans fought back, making it difficult for the CSK batsmen to find boundaries. The young Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad was particularly impressive, conceding no boundaries in his spell of 3-0-17-2.

As the pressure mounted, CSK found themselves in a precarious situation if they were to be crowned the IPL 2023 winner. They needed to go for the big hits in order to keep up with the required run rate. However, the wickets of Gaikwad and Conway fell in quick succession, leaving CSK in a spot of bother.

The thrilling final few overs

The stage was set for the experienced duo of MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu to steer CSK to victory. But fate had other plans as Dhoni departed for a duck, leaving the CSK fans heartbroken. It seemed like it could be his final act on a cricket field, as he had earlier expressed that preparing for the IPL at his age was taking a toll on him. The crowd was left bereft as their beloved captain walked back to the pavilion.

However, cricket is a game of uncertainties, and the match took an unexpected turn. Rayudu, who had earlier announced that this would be his final IPL match, walked in with a steely determination to turn the tide in CSK's favor.

He unleashed a flurry of boundaries, taking on the experienced bowler from Gujarat Titans, Mohit Sharma. With three consecutive hits – a six, a four, and another six – Rayudu swung the momentum in CSK's favor. The crowd erupted in joy and the equation suddenly turned heavily in favor of CSK, with their chances of victory soaring to an overwhelming 93%.

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Jadeja's carnage that made CSK the IPL 2023 winner

While Rayudu's assault had provided CSK a significant advantage, it was Jadeja who would have the final say in the outcome of the match. With just two balls remaining, and the need for 4 runs to win, Jadeja stepped up to the challenge. Mohit Sharma delivered a yorker, but it fell inches short of being unplayable. Jadeja seized the opportunity and smashed the ball down the ground for a crucial boundary, bringing the equation down to 1 run off the final delivery.

The tension in the stadium reached its peak as Mohit Sharma prepared to deliver the last ball. However, fate favored CSK as Mohit's attempted yorker turned into a low full toss. Jadeja, displaying exceptional skill and composure, flicked the ball to the left of short fine leg, guiding it to the boundary. The Ahmedabad Stadium, dressed in yellow for one man, erupted in euphoria as CSK secured a thrilling victory. The IPL 2023 winner lived up to their reputation, winning their fifth title in dramatic circumstances.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India