The Chennai Super Kings flexed those scary-good muscles of theirs at home again, smashing the Kings XI bowlers to bits before making their batsmen look like rank amateurs.
Batting first, Brendon McCullum made full use of a gift from Mitchell Johnson, who had a night to forget and then some as he also dropped Suresh Raina later in the piece, to brute his way to 66 (44b, 8x4, 3x6), with MS Dhoni (41, 27b, 2x4, 2x6) thumping a few towards the end as well to help CSK to 192/3.
Now, that chase was always going to be a tall order, even for this seriously talented Kings XI batting lineup albeit sans the left out Glenn Maxwell, and much beyond a tall order it proved to be as the CSK spinners – Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-22-3) and R Ashwin (4-0-14-2) – made merry of the turning track to spin the proverbial web around the batsmen and keep their opponents to 95/9 in 20 overs.
Ishwar Pandey and Ashish Nehra picked up the first couple of wickets, with Virender Sehwag and, crucially, Shaun Marsh falling early, and from there it was all about Jadeja and Ashwin as one KXIP batsman after another succumbed to the turn.
George Bailey fell off an outside edge to give Jadeja a much-needed wicket, before David Miller fell prey to Dhoni's all-time favourite fielding position – the leg-slip.
R Ashwin, who had only bowled four overs in the last three matches coming into this game, then got into the act as well, sending Murali Vijay (34, 32b, 4x4, 1x6), desperate to make a big score against his former side, and Axar Patel back, leaving KXIP in disarray and more, as Johnson also followed suit soon after.
At 67/7, the Kings XI Punjab were staring at being bowled out for under 100, but Wriddhiman Saha and Anureet Singh held fort for a while to at least avoid being bowled out.
Earlier, McCullum did what he does best – which is tonk bowlers for fun – with Dwayne Smith also joining him for a while at the top of the innings as the IPL's best opening partnership made merry again.
The fearsome duo put on 50 runs together in just 4.4 overs, with McCullum, dropped on 21, then continuing the cricket ball bashing in earnest after Smith (26, 13b, 3x4, 2x6) fell to Anureet Singh, somehow managing to deflect a ball that was going well down leg onto the stumps.
It was not just about the drops for Kings XI, with boundaries also given away with misfields, which, against a CSK batting lineup deadly on any track, is asking for trouble. It might have been well over 200 had McCullum not holed out in the 13th over, with Suresh Raina (29, 25b, 4x4), who struck a quite unbelievable 87 in 25 balls the last time he played KXIP, also not quite able to take-off.
Dhoni was still not at his a-six-a-ball best, but the wily CSK skipper found a way to motor that score along to take his team beyond 190, which pretty much knocked the stuffing out of Kings XI Punjab.