Dazzling half-centuries from opener Matthew Hayden and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni powered Chennai Super Kings to 185 for three in 18 overs in their rain-truncated Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kings XI Punjab.
It was always going to be a difficult target. King's XI captain Yuvraj Singh (58 n.o., 4X5, 2X6) and Mahela Jayawardene (44 n.o., 3X4, 2X6) did try their best till the very last over, but in the end the total proved just too much for them. They lost by 12 runs.
Earlier, Hayden slammed a 58-ball 89 and Dhoni hammered an unbeaten 56 off just 27 balls as the Chennai side posted a mammoth total in the tie which was reduced to 18-overs-a-side following a 90-minute rain interruption.
Incidentally, the Super Kings had a rather ominous start after Dhoni opted to bat first.
The unaccustomed opener's role thrust on him, S Badrinath joined IPL's ever-growing golden duck list, guiding the first ball he faced from Irfan Pathan to a lurking VRV Singh at third man.
However, Chennai run-machines Hayden and Suresh Raina (32), top two run-getters in the tournament so far, didn't hold the Punjab attack in much esteem and it was more than evident in the nonchalant way they treated the Kings XI bowlers.
Raina dismissed Pathan over long on and followed it with a four and then greeted Yusuf Abdulla, IPL's leading wicket-taker till RP Singh eclipsed him, with back-to-back fours to convey what he thought of him.
At the other end, Hayden had warmed up with fours off Pathan and S Sreesanth before sending a VRV delivery soaring over the long off ropes.
After the Super Kings had raced to 68 for one in just 7.3 overs, it needed weather god's intervention to stop the rampaging duo, who returned later to find that the match had been truncated to a 18-overs-a-side affair.
Raina returned soon with Piyush Chawla striking with his first ball but Hayden smote the leggie for a six to bring up his fifty and went on to hit Sreesanth for three sixes in the penultimate over before perishing in the deep.
Dhoni also made merry, milking 24 runs off a VRV Singh over, including a couple of sixes and as many fours.
Chennai Super Kings:
S Badrinath c VRV Singh b Pathan 0, M Hayden c Jayawardene b Sreesanth 89, S Raina c Goel b Chawla 32, M S Dhoni not out 56
A Morkel not out 2
Extras (LB-5, W-1) 6
Total (For 3 wickets in 18 overs) 185
Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-76 3-176.
Bowling: Pathan 4-0-38-1; Sreesanth 4-0-37-1; Abdulla 2-0-18-0; VRV 2-0-36-0; Goel 3-0-23-0; Chawla 3-0-28-1.