The Dhoni-Badri jugalbandi ensured Chennai post a formidable 181/4.
In reply Mohali Kings XI stumbled against the variation of Balaji and managed only 163/9 in stipulated 20 overs. Shaun Marsh belted 38-ball 58 while Pathan stroked 18-ball 40 in a losing cause.
Balaji, who returned to competitive cricket after a two year injury lay-off, dismissed Irfan Pathan, Chawla and VRV in three successive deliveries off the final over of his spell and Chennai innings to claim the first hat-trick of the event.
Chennai joined Jaipur outfit at the top with 12 points from six wins while Mohali Kingsstayed put on the third slot with 10 pts from five wins in one lesser game than their southern counterparts.
Mohali chasing a massive 182-run victory target got off to a poor start losing Hopes and Goel in the first five overs with only 30 runs on scorecard.
However in-form Marsh and Sarwan kept Mohali (20) in the game firing 66 runs in just seven overs. Marsh batted like a man possessed on a belter of wicket. He did nothing unusual hitting the ball thro' the line for a hoard of boundaries and sixes.
Mohali looked like it will overhaul Chennai total when Marsh and Sarwan were at the wicket. However the Balaji had other ideas and executioned it to the perfection too. The comeback man got most of his wickets with a well disguised slower ones. He started the rot with Sarwan's wicket castling fiesty Windies batsman with a yorker length slower one and followed it up with the vital scalp of Marsh caught Amarnath. This dismissal left Mohali in some sort of trouble at 96/4 in the 13th over.
In the following over Amarnath, who was meted with some rough treatment by Marsh, sent Yuvraj packing when the dashing southpaw's ferocious cut was latched up by Fleming at point.
Jayawardene trying to up the scoring rate topedged a heave off Murali and Vidyut held on to the skier.
Pathan, left with an uphill task to see his side home, played a innings that matched his brother Yusuf's belligerent 38-ball 64 but proved insufficiant for Mohali's cause.
Earlier Dhoni blazed his way to 43-ball 60* while Badri played an untypical knock for his 64 in 47 balls. Mohali seamers made a fine back in the death overs after the duo forged a quickfire 91-run stand. Raina was the other major contributer with a 17-ball 26.
Chennai put in to bat didn't had a best of starts with Sreesanth packing off openers Vidyut and Fleming early on. Sree bowled an eventful first over. He started off with two successive wides and conceded two boundaries to Vidyut before inducing the Tamil Nadu Ranji batsman to edge a short of good length ball on outside the off-stump line that nipped away before kissing the bat and flew to slip cordon and Jayawardene not the one to miss the offerings.
Sree then had the out-of-sorts Fleming caught Goel at covers to reduce Chennai to 20/2 in the third over.
Badri and Raina revived Chennai Kings with a rapidfire 44 run stand. Raina was looking in good touch and looked set for a big one before being undone by an intended mighty slog sweep off Chawla that flew to Marsh (Jr) at point. Raina's departure left Chennai in a spot of bother at 64/3 in seven overs.
In came M S Dhoni and out he went dancing down the wicket to send Chawla out of park and he repeated it twice one over later to swing the momumtum in Chennai's favour. He was not in a mood to relent as he hit Hopes for a six and four in the following over.
Badri not known for big-hitting prowess, too joined the party. The workmanlike batsman played an untypical attacking innings. The prolific scorer for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy cut, drove, pulled, lofted, and paddle swept to score his runs around the park. He hitt as many as six boundaries and three sixes in his 47-ball knock before a lofted off-drive off VRV flew straight to Yuvraj.
Sreesanth, who spoiled the rhythm of freely scoring Dhoni-Badri with a disciplined 16th over conceding as few as 4 runs, returned with 2 for 29 in his four overs.
Mohali Kings' seamers Sreesanth, VRV and Hopes tied down Dhoni and Morkel in the death overs with a hoard of yorkers and fuller length balls.