A late cameo by skipper M.S. Dhoni and disciplined bowling helped Chennai Super Kings edge closer to an IPL play-off berth with a 27-run win over Delhi Capitals on Wednesday.

Dhoni, who hit a nine-ball 20, put on a key seventh-wicket stand of 38 with Ravindra Jadeja, who hit 21, to steer Chennai to 167-8.

IPL 2023: At 41, MS Dhoni is striking the ball as well as ever has in his IPL career

Sri Lankan quick Matheesha Pathirana took three wickets to help limit Delhi to 140-8 as Chennai consolidated their second spot in the 10-team table with seven wins in 12 matches.

Delhi began the chase with left-handed Warner out for a duck on the second ball to Deepak Chahar, who also sent back previous-match winner Phil Salt, for 17.

Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was run out for five but impact sub Manish Pandey and Rilee Rossouw attempted to revive the chase in their 59-run stand before impact player Pathirana broke through.

Pathirana pinned down Pandey lbw with his trademark yorker and ended with figures of 3-37.

Jadeja took down Rossouw with his left-arm spin to dent the chase and despite a late push by Axar Patel (21) Delhi fell flat.

Earlier Chennai lost regular wickets before Shivam Dube, who smashed 25 off 12 balls, and Ambati Rayudu, who hit 23, stood out in an attacking stand of 36.

But it was Dhoni and the left-handed Jadeja who took the attack to the opposition with their late blitz that got Chennai 39 runs from the final three overs.

The 41-year-old Dhoni, who many suspect is playing his final IPL as player, raised the noise at a near-capacity crowd with his two sixes off left-arm quick Khaleel Ahmed.

Dhoni has led Chennai to four IPL titles and is attracting large crowds at all the venues across India.

The David Warner-led Delhi, who started the season with five losses, remain rooted to the bottom of the standings and all but out of the play-off race.

The top four teams qualify for the play-offs.

GT 11 8 3 0 0.951 16 WWLWW
CSK 12 7 4 1 0.493 15 WWNLL
MI 11 6 5 0 -0.255 12 WLWWL
LSG 11 5 5 1 0.294 11 LNLWL
RR 11 5 6 0 0.388 10 LLLWL
KKR 11 5 6 0 -0.079 10 WWLWL
RCB 11 5 6 0 -0.345 10 LLWLW
PBKS 11 5 6 0 -0.441 10 LLWLW
SRH 10 4 6 0 -0.472 8 WLWLL
DC 11 4 7 0 -0.605 8 LWWLW