Subramaniam Badrinath hit 59 not out and Matthew Hayden added 48 to steer Chennai Super Kings to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals and go top of the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Badrinath smashed nine boundaries and a six in 41 balls at the De Beers Diamond Oval, sharing a match-winning 89-run stand for the third wicket with Hayden (48 off 44 balls) to reach 141-3 after Rajasthan managed 140-7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan took 2-22 in four overs and left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati 2-35 to restrict Rajasthan to a score clinically chased down by Chennai.
"It's a huge advantage," said Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of his team's impressive top-order batting in the series.
"Basically what you need is to have one of your top-order batsman bat through and have the others contribute around him. It's good to have them. Even the bowlers contributed. I'm happy with the performance overall."
Chennai lost their first wicket in the fourth over when Murali Vijay shuffled across and was trapped leg before by Siddharth Trivedi.
Suresh Raina added 13 runs before being dismissed in the sixth over. He was caught at point by Lee Carseldine going for the pull shot to a short Amit Singh delivery.
Hayden's innings ended when he was stumped by wicketkeeper Naman Ojha off a wide Shane Warne delivery in the 17th over.
Badrinath then dominated an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand with Jacob Oram (1 not out) to lead Chennai home with 10 balls to spare.
"I thought we were 20 runs short with the bat," said Rajasthan captain Warne. "Having said that, it was good fighting spirit. We fought all the way." - Sapa-AP