The much-anticipated IPL 2023 final between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT) finally commenced on Monday, May 29 after heavy rainfall and hailstorm on the original match day forced the game to be moved to the reserve day. This marked the first instance in the tournament’s history that the finale had to be rescheduled.
With rain predictions lingering even on the reserve day, CSK captain MS Dhoni, upon winning the toss, opted to bowl first. The first innings proceeded smoothly as GT posted the highest-ever total in an IPL final, with Sai Sudharsan’s explosive 47-ball 96 playing a pivotal role in their impressive performance.
Facing the daunting task of chasing a massive target of 215, CSK’s opening batters Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway began the chase positively, with Gaikwad hitting a boundary off the third ball to set the momentum. Unfortunately, play was immediately halted following that boundary.
As time passes and the overs reduce due to rain interruptions, the target for CSK will be revised accordingly, adding further dynamics to the match.
In the build-up to the final, GT opener Shubman Gill expressed his thoughts on the game being shifted to the reserve day. Gill acknowledged that it was mentally exhausting for the team as they were prepared to play on Sunday. Despite the circumstances, Gill emphasized the need to approach the match as just another game and focus on getting the job done.
When asked about playing in front of his family, Gill shared his excitement and mentioned that having his family in the stadium does not affect his performance under pressure. On the contrary, he finds it thrilling to play in their presence, as it amplifies the joy of his achievements on the field.
In the final, Gill once again showcased his batting prowess, contributing a quickfire 39 off just 20 deliveries, including seven boundaries. However, his innings was curtailed by the lightning-fast stumping by MS Dhoni, who provided CSK with their first breakthrough.
As the IPL 2023 final progresses, the players continue to face challenges posed by the weather conditions, but they remain determined to deliver an enthralling contest and seize the ultimate glory in the tournament.