KL Rahul's scintillating 36-ball-71 paved the way for a consolation six-wicket victory for Kings XI Punjab here Sunday but not before CSK ensured a top-two finish with chance to play the first IPL Qualifier at their happy hunting home ground Chepauk.
With nothing to lose in the final game of the season, Rahul, Chris Gayle (28 off 28 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (36 off 22 balls) were the key contributors in KXIP's successful chase of 171 in in 18 overs.
However CSK will be happy that with a net run-rate of +0.131 which is far better than Delhi Capitals' (+0.044), the defending champions will remain in the top two with two clear shots at summit clash qualification even if MI beat KKR in the evening game.
Faf du Plessis missed out on a well-deserved hundred by four runs as Kings XI Punjab bowled well at the death to restrict Chennai Super Kings to 170 for 5. Courtesy Du Plessis' 96 off 55 balls and his 120-run stand with Suresh Raina (53 off 38 balls) set a platform for the defending champions.
However, Sam Curran (3/35) and Mohammed Shami (2/17 in 3 overs) bowled well in the final few overs as CSK seemed at least 10 runs short of par score.