Kings XI Punjab showed steel with the bat to chase 206 for victory with six wickets and seven balls to spare.
The Chennai Super Kings were powerful with the bat, teed up by fifties from opening duo Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, and reaching 205-4 in their 20 overs.
But led by an inspired Glenn Maxwell, who slammed 95 in 43 balls, the Kings XI not only made it a contest, but won at a relative canter.
|Chennai Super Kings Scorecard|
|Dwayne Smith||c George Bailey b Lakshmipathy Balaji||66||43||153.48||6||3|
|Brendon McCullum||c Glenn Maxwell b Akshar Patel||67||45||148.88||4||5|
|Suresh Raina||c Virender Sehwag b Parvinder Awana||24||19||126.31||2||0|
|MS Dhoni||c Rishi Dhawan b Lakshmipathy Balaji||26||11||236.36||3||1|
|Dwayne Bravo||NOT OUT||8||3||266.66||0||1|
|EXTRAS||(nb 1, w 11, lb 2)||14|
|TOTAL||(4 wickets; 20 overs)||205||(4 wickets; 20 overs)|
CSK have pedigree in the IPL, but issues off the field have dominated their build-up.
There was no sign of rustiness with the bat, however, with Smith and McCullum getting off to the perfect start.
123 in just 12.4 overs was a brutal start, with Mitchell Johnson suffering particular punishment.
The duo hit eight sixes in all, with McCullum passing a personal T20 landmark.
And with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni playing late cameos, their score looked out of reach.
That feeling was strengthened when openers Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara were removed in the first four overs, but it brought Maxwell to the middle.
David Miller, often an explosive player in his own right, settled into a cameo role as Maxwell flayed the ball to all parts.
His half-century came in just 25 balls, but thereafter he still managed to accelerate.
By the time he had 84 in 37 deliveries, it represented his best score in the T20 format.
The target, meanwhile, had been whittled down to 50 from 30 balls.
|Kings XI Punjab Scorecard|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||lbw Ravichandran Ashwin||13||10||130.00||2||0|
|Virender Sehwag||b Ashish Nehra||19||10||190.00||4||0|
|Glenn Maxwell||b Dwayne Smith||95||43||220.93||15||2|
|Akshar Patel||lbw Ravichandran Ashwin||2||3||66.66||0||0|
|David Miller||NOT OUT||54||37||145.94||3||3|
|George Bailey||NOT OUT||17||10||170.00||2||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 5, lb 1)||6|
|TOTAL||(4 wickets; 18.5 overs)||206||206|
Maxwell's dismissal with his century in sight threatened to turn the contest around again, but Miller stepped up to finish it off.
Launching Ravindra Jadeja for sixes down the ground, the required run rate came down to around a run a ball, and the there was no way back for Super Kings.