Chris Gayle helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore to top spot in the IPL with a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings.
The Jamaican all-rounder smashed six sixes and four fours out of the park at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, for an unbeaten 75 off 50 balls in the IPL top of the table clash.
His key contribution means Bangalore will now face whoever finishes second in the IPL table for a shot at reaching the final in Chennai next Saturday.
The Super Kings had to be rescued by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who came away with 70 not out.
They will now have to wait for the outcome of the afternoon match between Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians to see whether they can hang on to second spot.
It was an early onslaught for Chennai who slumped to 22-4 when Subramaniam Badrinath was bowled by former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori for a 10th-ball duck.
The away side managed to steady the ship a little through Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha (22) who managed a total of 128-8 from 20 overs.
The Super Kings lost Australian opener Mike Hussey early on as he went for four runs off seven balls thanks to some expert bowling from the impressive Zaheer Khan.
Khan doubled his wicket tally by removing India team-mate Suresh Raina for four, taking his figures to 2-19.
Vettori conceded just 15 runs and took the wicket of Dwayne Bravo when he forced the Trinidadian into an lbw for five.
Dhoni did everything he could to prevent the Super Kings from coming away with an embarrassingly low total with 70 runs from 40 balls that included six sixes and three fours.
Saha was the only other Chennai player to get into double figures in what appeared a very one-sided battle and a clash the visitors might want to forget.
Despite the eight-wicket defeat, Chennai did show early promise as Ravichandran Ashwin claimed AB de Villiers from three balls as the South African edged behind to Dhoni and in turn failed to get on the scoresheet.
It was the West Indies captain Gayle who put in an impressive performance, steering Bangalore to victory when he nicked a single off Raina to cap off the victory.
Other notable performers for the Challengers included Virat Kohli, who struck 31 off 29 balls and Saurabh Tiwary who notched an unbeaten 13 from twice as many balls.
That victory means that even if Bangalore lose in their first final qualifier on Tuesday, they will get a second chance to reach the final against the winner of the third-fourth place eliminator.