After 5th IPL Win, Another Crazy Swan-Song Season For MS Dhoni?

New Delhi: Ravindra Jadeja sealed a memorable title win for Chennai Super Kings in a rain-marred last-ball thriller of the Tata Indian Premier League at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad late last night.

Chennai Super Kings won the toss and put Gujarat Titans to bat first, who amassed 214 runs in 20 overs propelled by Sai Sudharsan’s 96 off just 47 balls. Rain, however, halted the game after just three balls into CSK’ innings, who then got a revised target of 171 runs from 15 overs. CSK needed 10 to win off the last two balls.

The swashbuckling all-rounder stole victory from the jaws of defeat by slamming a six and a four off Mohit Sharma in the last two balls to trounce Gujarat Titans by five wickets. And the first thing that he did after hitting the winning four was to run to his 41-year-old skipper and hug him. Dhoni also celebrated the win by lifting Jadeja in an affectionate hug.

Jadeja, whose heroics helped CSK equal Mumbai Indians’ record for most IPL titles, also dedicated the win to Dhoni after the match. The Chennai-based franchise also holds the record for the most appearances in the finals (nine) of the IPL.

The cameras panned on Dhoni sitting with his eyes closed in the dugout when the last ball was being bowled. The captain cool is not known for betraying any emotions on the field. Even as the players in the yellow jersey run onto the field, he remained in the dugout with his eyes closed, reported NDTV.

With IPL 2023 being pitted as Dhoni’s swansong, focus has all along been on him and SK batters provided the perfect ‘farewell’ gift to the legend. Dhoni, however, chose to not opt for the fairytale ending to his career and mentioned that he would want to make a comeback next year if his body allowed it. “Circumstantially, this is the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love I have received all over, the easy thing would be to walk away from here, but the harder thing would be to work hard for nine months and try to play another IPL,” he said.

Dhoni, who will turn 42 in July, batted at Nos. 7 and 8 this season while managing an injury to his left knee.

After the match, Pandya said that it was Dhoni’s destiny to win the title and that he didn’t mind losing to someone who has been his mentor. “I’m very happy for him. Destiny had this written for him. If I had to lose, I don’t mind losing to him. Good things happen to good people,” he said.


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