It was one of those instances in the Indian Premier League where the result worked for both teams.
For Kings XI Punjab, the four-wicket win ensured they didn’t end up at the bottom of the points table and for CSK their spot in the top two was guaranteed.
Punjab had to chase down any target set in 14.4 overs or beat the Super Kings by 251 runs.
For a good chunk of the game it looked like that would be possible with KL Rahul (71 off 36 balls) hammering the ball to all parts of the park in a chase of 171.
Taking a particular liking for Harbhajan Singh (3/57), Rahul blazed his way to a 19-ball half century, his fastest this year.
Harbhajan eventually did get his revenge dismissing Rahul and Gayle (28 off 28) but the damage was done by then and Punjab coasted home with two wickets to spare.
Earlier, much like last season, CSK had another of their personnel standing up towards the business end of the innings.
Faf du Plessis scorched to his highest score in the IPL striking fluently to 96 off just 55 balls.
After being put into bat by Kings XI, the CSK openers got off the blocks quickly but soon saw Shane Watson (7 off 11) make the long walk back to the pavilion. Watson’s woeful run continued as he tried to cut a fullish delivery from Sam Curran and lost his off stump.
Du Plessis was in no mood to relent and found an able ally in Suresh Raina (53 off 38) and CSK were well on their way to a big total.
The duo were particularly severe on Andrew Tye and plundered 37 runs off his three overs. Murugan Ashwin fared no better and was at the receiving end eventually conceding 33 runs, having bowled one over short of his full quota of four overs.
Raina departed in the 17th over as he failed to get a decent connection on Curran’s short delivery, holding out to Mohammed Shami at short fine leg.
At 150 for two, three overs to go, and MS Dhoni at the crease CSK would have ideally preferred a total close to 200 but a brilliant effort by the Punjab bowlers ensured all Chennai got was 20 from that point on and losing three wickets in the process.
Mohammed Shami conceded just five runs off the 20th over to reduce CSK’s chances of winning by eight percent.
Punjab’s winning chances shot up to 87 when Rahul and Gayle were tearing apart the Chennai attack.