Brendon McCullum struck a scintillating half century to take Chennai Super Kings to a formidable 192/3 against Kings XI Punjab.
McCullum (66 runs off 44 balls) and Dwayne Smith (26 off 13) laid the foundation for a big score before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit an unbeaten 41 off 27 balls to end the innings on a high.
While Super Kings batted well on their home ground, Kings XI Punjab did not help their cause by offering loosing balls regularly besides the slip ups on the field.
The dangerous duo of Smith and McCullum gave another cracking start to their team and toyed with the promising bowling attack of Kings XI.
The visitors' move to open with leg-spinner Karanveer Singh did not pay off as he gave away 26 runs in his first two over before being taken off.
Smith plundered 22 off Karanveer's second over, that saw him hit two straight sixes and as many fours.
McCullum took medium pacer Sandeep Sharma to the cleaners in the next over, pulling him for a massive six over mid-wicket and cutting him for a boundary.
First change Anureet Singh picked up a timely wicket off Smith in fifth over and that put a halt to the onslaught from both ends. The West Indian was a tad unfortunate as he elbowed a leg-stump delivery on to the stumps, leaving his team at 50 for one in 4.4 overs.
It would have been a double blow for Super Kings in the same over had Johnson not dropped a skier at mid-off to give a life to McCullum, who was on 21.
The New Zealand captain made the opposition pay for their sloppy fielding by reaching his second 50 plus score of the tournament. His whirlwind knock included three sixes and eight boundaries.
McCullum alongside Suresh Raina got the innings going at a brisk pace with the hosts reaching 97 for one in 10 overs.
He eventually fell to left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the 12th over, setting an ideal platform at 116 for two with eight overs to spare.
Raina too benefited from Johnson's misses on the field as the Australia dropped the Indian batsmen in the 11th over while fielding at deep mid-wicket.
The southpaw's innings however ended abruptly when he was run out while backing up the at the non-strikers' end.
It was Dhoni show towards the end of the innings as he hit some of his trademark shots to enthrall the crowd. His innings comprised two sixes and as many fours.

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