Gujarat Titans (GT) suffered a heartbreaking last-ball defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final of the Indian Premier League 2023 (IPL) on Tuesday midnight (May 29). The reigning champions produced another impressive performance with both bat and ball but Chennai pulled off a thrilling last-ball win to clinch their fifth IPL trophy. Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya conceded the defeat and he revealed that he won't mind losing to MS Dhoni.
Sai Sudharsan smashed 96 off 47 and Wriddhiman Saha scored fifty as Gujarat Titans posted a total of 214/4, the biggest in the IPL finals. But Chennai Super Kings were impressive with all batters contributing crucial knocks to chase the revised 171-run target in the most thrilling way. Dhoni failed to display his finishing skills but was impressive with his wicketkeeping skills.
Hardik praised the CSK captain during the post-match representation and said that destiny had all written it for the legendary wicketkeeper. GT skipper also added that God has been kind to him but gave Dhoni more in the final.
"I'm very happy for him [Dhoni]," Hardik said at the post-match presentation. "Destiny had this written for him. If I had to lose, I don't mind losing to him. I said last year that good things happen to good people. I think he is one of the nicest people I have met. God has been kind to me, but I think God gave him a little more today."
Hardik also denied blaming rain or conditions for Gujarat's defeat despite posting a mammoth total. Hardik accepted that Chennai produced better cricket and deserved to win the final.
"I'm not one of those guys who make excuses. CSK played better cricket than us. The way we batted was definitely amazing. Special mention to Sai as well. Someone that young coming and playing at this stage the kind of innings he played. I just wish him well and he is going to do wonders in his life," Hardik added,
Dhoni, 41, recorded 104 runs from 12 innings, remaining unbeaten on eight occasions, at a strike rate of 182.45 with the help of three fours and 10 sixes in IPL 2023.