Kings XI Punjab was inch close to winning a game at M.A Chidambaram, Chennai of chasing a modest target of 161 but they wasted the opportunity as the spin trio of Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir dragged Chennai Super Kings back into the game through their economy to help snatch a 22-run win.
Opening the batting, Du Plessis made 54 off 38 balls with the help of two fours and four hits over the fence and together with Shane Watson (26) added 56 runs for the first wicket after opting to bat.
But it was some late hitting by Dhoni (37*) and Rayudu (21*) and their unbeaten 60-run fourth wicket partnership in 30 balls that helped the defending champions reachable a respectable total.
Thanks to Dhoni and Rayudu, CSK scored 52 runs in the last five overs after a rather quiet middle period.
Kings XI skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was the best bowler for the visitors, picking up three wickets for 23 runs from his four overs. He was on a hat-trick in the 14th over after getting half-centurion Du Plessis and Suresh Raina off successive deliveries.
With another heroics from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 19th over where he smashed 19 runs, the team ended with 160 runs on the board, giving bowlers something to fight.
Harbhajan had struck twice in the space of three balls in the second over of the Kings XI chase to claim Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal, but KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan responded with a 110-run third wicket stand to put Kings XI in the driver's seat. But from the time that Sarfaraz drove Scott Kuggeleijn for six over long-off off the penultimate ball of the 12th over, the Super Kings spinners lulled Kings XI into a false sense of security their having despite wickets in hand as Rahul and Sarfaraz went six overs without a boundary. The nineteenth
With 26 to get off the final over, Kuggeleijn faced little pressure in closing out the win on his IPL debut, bouncing back after an expensive first spell in which he conceded 27 off his first two overs to end with 2 for 37. The resiliency of Super Kings enabled them to break a four-way deadlock on six points as they moved past Kings XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders for sole possession of first place.