Faf du Plessis hit a half-century as the Chennai Super Kings secured a 22-run victory against the Kings XI Punjab at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
While Du Plessis and Harbhajan Singh were applauded for their respective performances with bat and ball, MS Dhoni played a quick-fire innings to take CSK to a formidable total and shifted the momentum towards his team.
Dhoni came to the crease in the 14th over after Ravi Ashwin had dismissed Du Plessis and Suresh Raina in successive balls.
The CSK skipper started cautiously and scored just six off his first 11 deliveries, but a trademark helicopter-shot shifted his momentum. Dhoni then took Sam Curran apart as Chennai proceeded to score 19 runs off the 19th. The final over saw 14 runs scored as Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu pushed the total to 160-3.
The visitors would have been happy to restrict CSK to a modest target by IPL standards, but their reply got off to a horrible start. Harbhajan struck twice in the space of three balls in the second over of the chase to claim the big wicket of Chris Gayle and also remove Mayank Agarwal.
The Kings XI needed KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan to consolidate the innings, and they did just that. Their 110-run partnership looked to have put the visitors in the driving seat, but the CSK spinners throttled the chase with tight bowling as the runs dried up.
The equation went from a manageable 71 off 49 balls to an almost impossible 43 off 14 when Rahul lost his wicket.
David Miller could only score six runs off five balls before being bowled as he tried to go big.
The Kings XI needed 26 off the final over, but could only manage three as Chennai moved back to the top of the IPL log.