All-round In the IPL, Jadeja has led Chennai to the championship game.

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 5/24/2023 4:11:00 AM

Chennai Super Kings defeated Gujarat Titans by 15 runs on Tuesday to advance to the IPL final, which could mark skipper M.S. Dhoni's farewell. Ravindra Jadeja shone with both bat and ball.

Four-time champions Chennai declared 172-7, a total their bowlers held as they dismissed Gujarat for 157 in a play-off that was reportedly Dhoni's 41st and final home game at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Following his 22 runs, left-handed Jadeja's spin bowling produced figures of 2-18, raising the Chennai total after Ruturaj Gaikwad's 60 on a difficult pitch for batting.

As Chennai reached their 10th Indian Premier League final, fireworks illuminated the night sky.

Gujarat, led by Hardik Pandya, will have another chance to advance to the final when they play the winner of the second play-off between Lucknow Super Giants and the five-time champion Mumbai Indians on Sunday in Ahmedabad.

The focus stayed on Dhoni, who is India's most decorated player and guided his nation to two World Cup victories, including the first T20 title in 2007, and served as a role model for younger heroes like Virat Kohli.

Dhoni, who is reportedly playing in his final IPL as a player, has drawn large crowds to all of the venues, with fans wearing the yellow of Chennai to pay homage to the legendary cricketer.

Fans cheered loudly at every move their hero made as he entered the batter's box, filling his home stadium almost to capacity.

The superstar, who has struggled with a knee injury this season but hasn't explicitly announced his retirement, was bowled out for one off two balls, and the crowd quickly fell silent.

Gaikwad had earlier reached his fourth half-century of the year by taking advantage of a reprieve after being dismissed in the second over only to have the delivery declared no-ball.

He quickly turned Chennai's slow start into a solid opening stand of 87 with New Zealander Devon Conway, who scored 40. He responded with a six and a four.

After Gaikwad left, Chennai faltered, but Jadeja's 16-ball cameo, which featured two sixes, and England's Moeen Ali's one over the fence in the final over helped Chennai reach what ultimately proved to be a winning total.

With his 42, Shubman Gill attempted to lead Gujarat's chase, but the rest of the batting struggled.

Deepak Chahar, a fast bowler, took out Gill, and Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana of Sri Lanka each took two wickets.

In his 16-ball 30, Rashid Khan attempted to pull off a rabbit, but he was bowled in the 19th over, and Pathirana completed the victory on the last ball.

Shining BD