Moeen Ali became the first Englishman to win the Indian Premier League after Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders in Friday’s final.
Ali, who announced his retirement from Test cricket in September, scored a 20-ball 37 as CSK set a target of 192 in Dubai. But despite an impressive start – with Shubman Gill (51) and Venkatesh Iyer (50) both making half-centuries – KKR slumped to a 27-run defeat. Captain Eoin Morgan scored just five runs on a disappointing evening.
“It’s amazing, and I can’t describe it really,” said Ali, 34, who can add the IPL title to his 50-over World Cup triumph for England in 2019. “I never thought I’d win the IPL and to do it with this team is amazing.”
Put into bat, Chennai amassed 192-3 with opener Faf du Plessis anchoring their innings with 86 spento 59 balls, which also earned the South African the man-of-the-match award. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad made 32 and went on to claim the orange cap as the tournament’s leading scorer.
Kolkata had got off to a flying start with openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer smashing individual fifties. Gill made 51 and Iyer scored 50 before the wheels came off their innings and two-time champions Kolkata, cruising at 91-0 in the 11th over, eventually finished on 165-9.
Shardul Thakur (3-38) dismissed Iyer and Nitish Rana in the same over, and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja also bowled a two-wicket over to rip the heart out of Kolkata’s middle order.
All-rounder Jadeja also took two stunning catches in the deep as Chennai, who missed the playoff for the first time last year, went on to claim the title.
“We shuffled a few players, we used them in different ways,” said Kolkata’s captain MS Dhoni of the turnaround after collecting the trophy. “It was important to take responsibility and we had match-winners coming game after game and performing.”