Much like the Indian Premier League itself, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, since the inception of the league, has been a talismanic figure for the Chennai Super Kings franchise. After being bought as the highest-paid player for the inaugural edition, MS Dhoni has guided the franchise to three IPL titles — the second most titles for any captain.
Over the years, MSD has established himself as one the best finishers in the league, apart from being a charismatic leader who can impeccably marshall his troops. He’s taken part in NINE IPL finals till date, here we will look at those final matches that Dhoni has been a part of.
2008 IPL Final (Chennai vs Rajasthan) — Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings
The inaugural edition of the IPL final saw Shane Warne-led underdogs Rajasthan Royals clash with Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. Rajasthan had finished the league stage of the tournament on top of the table, while CSK were in the third position.
Winning the toss, Rajasthan opted to field first. CSK scored a competitive 163 runs in 20 overs for the loss of five wickets. Coming at one-down, Suresh Raina top-scored for CSK with 43 runs. MS Dhoni provided valuable contribution with his 29 not out from 17 balls. Chasing, Royals failed to build a good opening partnership. Contribution from the middle order, however, helped Rajasthan win the IPL 2008 in the last ball. Yusuf Pathan earned the man of the match for his 56 runs and three wickets.
2010 IPL Final (Chennai vs Mumbai) Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians
The 2010 IPL final was held at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium where table-toppers Mumbai Indians clashed with Chennai Super Kings, who finished third in the league table. While this was the first IPL final for MI, it was the second time CSK were playing in the final, having lost to Rajasthan in 2008.
CSK won the toss and MS Dhoni opted to bat first. The Super Kings scored 168 runs in 20 overs at the loss of five wickets. Suresh Raina again excelled in the final, scoring 57 runs off 35 balls. Skipper Dhoni scored a cameo of 22 runs from 15 balls. Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, failed to build a good opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan perishing early. Even though Tendulkar scored 48 runs, and a 10 ball cameo from Keiron Pollard helped, MI could only manage 146 runs, giving CSK the victory by 22 runs. Raina was adjudged the man of the match for his knock of unbeaten 57 and a wicket.
2011 IPL Final (Chennai vs Bangalore) Chennai Super Kings beat Royal Challengers Bangalore
The first IPL final at home for Chennai Super Kings as they locked horns with Daniel Vettori’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB had topped the group stage while CSK were just a point behind at the second position. This was also the first time that a defending champion of the tournament qualified for the final and defended its title.
Winning the toss, CSK opted to bat first and scored 205 runs from 20 overs. Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey were the pick of the batsmen. In reply, Royal Challengers failed to build a good opening partnership and opener Chris Gayle got out for a duck. RCB’s innings finally came to an end at 147, giving CSK their second title in consecutive years.
2012 IPL Final (Chennai vs Kolkata) Kolkata Knight Riders beat Chennai Super Kings
There was a new challenger for the 2012 IPL final as Kolkata Knight Riders played Chennai Super Kings for the trophy at Chennai’s Chepauk Stadium.
CSK won the toss, batted first and scored 190 runs for the loss of three wickets. Openers Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey again coming good in the final match. Suresh Raina played an important knock, scoring 73 runs from 38 balls.
In reply, KKR lost their captain Gautam Gambhir early, but Manvinder Bisla (89 runs from 48 balls) and Jacques Kallis (69 runs from 49 balls) stabilised the innings. It came down to nine runs from the final over and Manoj Tiwary hit two back-to-back boundaries to give KKR their first title.
2013 IPL Final (Mumbai vs Chennai) Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings
Mumbai Indians won their first IPL title playing in their second finale, after losing to Chennai Super Kings in 2010. Chennai, who were playing their fifth IPL final, attempted to win their third title. The final was also Sachin Tendulkar’s last match in international cricket, although he couldn’t take part in the game due to an injury.
It was Mumbai’s first IPL title and Chennai’s second consecutive run as the runners-up. MI scored 148 runs for the loss of nine wickets. Although MS Dhoni played a valuable knock of 63 not out from 45 balls, CSK could only manage 125 runs for nine wickets, losing the final by 23 runs.
2015 IPL Final (Mumbai vs Chennai) Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings
A repeat of the 2010 and the 2013 finals, Chennai and Mumbai clashed again for the title summit in the 2015 edition of the IPL. Mumbai won its second IPL title, while CSK lost its third-straight final on the trot.
Winning the toss, CSK opted to bowl first. Mumbai managed to score a mammoth 202 runs for the loss of five wickets. In reply, CSK could only score 161 runs, losing the match by 41 runs.
2017 IPL Final (Mumbai vs Pune) Mumbai Indians beat Rising Pune Supergiant
Held at Hyderabad’s Uppal Stadium, this was Mumbai’s fourth IPL Final. Challenging MI were the team from Pune, led by Steve Smith. MI captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first. Mumbai scored 129 runs for eight wickets, but managed to defend the lowly score and won the title by a mere one run.
This was the only IPL Final that Dhoni didn’t captain, as his Pune side was led by Australian Smith. Dhoni could only score 10 runs in the match.
2018 IPL Final (Chennai vs Hyderabad) Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad
The 2018 final of the IPL was held at Wankhede Stadium. CSK won the final defeating Hyderabad by eight wickets. This was Dhoni’s eight final and third win. Hyderabad scored 178 for six, but CSK managed to defeat them by scoring 181 runs for the loss of two wickets with Shane Watson scoring a match-winning ton.
2019 IPL Final (Chennai vs Mumbai) Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings
Another IPL Final loss to Mumbai, Chennai Super Kings lost the match by a mere run. Rohit Sharma won the toss and selected to bat first. MI scored 149 runs for eight wickets. In reply, CSK could only manage 148 runs as Dhoni was run out for just 2 runs.