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"If I had to..I'd rather lose to MS Dhoni" Hardik Pandya after defeat against CSK in IPL 2023 final

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) | May 30, 2023 4:39:58 AM IST
Despite facing defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final, Gujarat Titans (GT) captain Hardik Pandya said that he is proud of his team and if he had to lose the title to anyone he would rather lose it to CSK captain MS Dhoni.

Ravindra Jadeja provided a grandstand finish, hitting a six and a four with 10 needed off the last two balls, to power Chennai Super Kings to their fifth IPL title as they beat defending champions Gujarat Titans by five wickets in a thriller at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Jadeja smashed 15* off 6 balls as a collection of cameos from Devon Conway (47 off 25), Ruturaj Gaikwad (26 off 16) and Shivam Dube (32* off 21). Ajinkya Rahane (27 off 13) and Ambati Rayudu (19 off 8) helped CSK chase down 171 from 15 overs in a rain-shortened IPL final.

Pandya said that it was destiny for CSK captain MS Dhoni to win the title and good things happen to good people and "he's been one of the best people he knows."

"I'm very happy for him (MS Dhoni), destiny had this written. If I had to lose, I'd rather lose to him. Good things happen to good people, and he's been one of the best people I know. God has been kind, God has been kind to me as well but today was his night," Hardik Pandya said at the time of the post-match presentation.

Pandya praised batter Sai Sudharsan who played a fighting knock of 96 runs off 47 balls to help GT post a mammoth 214/4.

Sudharsan had put on a stunning show on the big stage with a splendid 96 off 47 balls, ably supported by Wriddhiman Saha (54 off 39) and Shubman Gill 39 (20) to help GT post a mammoth 214/4 before rain forced the match to be shortened to 15 overs.

"I think we tick a lot of boxes as a team. We play with a lot of heart, really proud of the way we kept fighting. We have a motto - we win together, we lose together. I'm not going to make excuses, CSK played the better cricket. We batted really well, special mention to Sai (Sudarshan), not easy to play that well at this level. We have been backing the boys and trying to make sure we get the best out of them. But their success is their success. The way they have put their hand up and delivered - Mohit, Rashid, Shami everyone,"

Chasing 171 from 15 overs, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway got CSK off to a flier. Ruturaj got off the mark in style with a lovely square drive for a four off the third ball of the innings from Mohd. Shami. But soon after rain stopped play and the match was reduced to 15 overs with CSK having to chase a revised target of 171 runs. The revised playing conditions meant the Powerplay was reduced to four overs while a bowler could bowl a maximum of three overs.

As play resumed, Gaikwad cracked another four in the unfinished first over as he pulled one through backward square leg to make it 10 runs off it. Devon Conway then got going straightaway as he lofted one over extra cover for a six off Hardik Pandya in the second over and then whipped one to fine leg for a four. He took the attack to Shami in the next over, smacking two more fours to accumulate 11 off it.

Hardik Pandya introduced Rashid Khan early into the attack but the CSK batters went after him straightaway, cracking a couple of fours and a six to take CSK to 52/0 at the end of the Powerplay (4th over).

Noor Ahmad bowled a good first over, giving away just six but Josh Little's first over went for 14 as Conway thumped a pull-over deep mid-wicket off the last ball of the sixth over.

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

Ajinkya Rahane arrived and got going in style with two exquisite sixes off Josh Little to make it a 16-run over. Noor Ahmad though balanced things out with another brilliant over, giving away just five as he finished with impressive figures of 3-0-17-2.

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

Mohit Sharma arrived into the attack in the 11th over and struck straightaway to get the crucial wicket of Rahane (27 off 13), catching a deep point off a slower one. The GT pacer bowled a fantastic over and gave away 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 Dube finally found the middle of the bat as he thumped two sixes in a row 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 MS Dhoni off he 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. (ANI)

 
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