Faf du Plessis struck a brisk fifty in his first IPL 2019 appearance while veteran Harbhajan Singh took 2-17 to help Chennai Super Kings outplay Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs at home in the 18th game of the season.
Du Plessis made 54 off 38 balls in Chennai's total of 160-3, which their bowlers successfully defended after restricting Punjab to 138-5.
The South African captain hit two fours and four sixes on a sluggish Chennai deck.
"Just glad to be playing back in the home ground. I've been waiting in the sidelines and it is always good to get an opportunity," Du Plessis said after the game.
"I had been hitting the ball well in the nets."
He added 56 runs for the opening stand with Shane Watson (26) to lay the foundation of the total after MS Dhoni decided to bat first.
Dhoni (37) was involved in an unbeaten 60-run fourth-wicket partnership with Ambati Rayudu (21).
Ravichandran Ashwin returned with the figures of 3-21 for Punjab.
Punjab's chase was jolted by two early wickets off Harbhajan Singh in the very second over including Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal.
KL Rahul (55) and Sarfaraz Khan (67) put on 110 runs for the third wicket but Punjab lost the plot towards the end with an ever-increasing run rate.
Chennai's IPL debutant Scott Kuggeleijn and Singh claimed two wickets each.