The late spark was provided by Dwayne Bravo (23 off 8 balls) as CSK recovered from a disastrous start to put up a fighting total. The 24-year-old Gaikwad added 81 runs for the fifth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (26) to steady the ship after they lost skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the sixth over and the score was 24 for 4.
Gaikwad smashed nine fours and three sixes, while Bravo hit three maximums.
CSK lost four wickets in the power play, including the wickets of skipper Dhoni and the team's seasoned run-getter Suresh Raina, as three top-order batsmen failed to open their account. The start was inauspicious for CSK as Trent Boult dismissed Faf du Plessis in the fifth ball of the very first over when the New Zealand pace spearhead had the veteran South African caught by the backward point fielder Adam Milne, who was standing very fine, after the batsman had shaped himself up to play the cut shot.
One for one became two for two in the next over as Milne got Moeen Ali who slapped a slightly short ball straight to Saurabh Tiwary at cover. What didn't help Moeen was that the ball seemed to stop as the England all-rounder went for his shot.
More trouble was in store for CSK as the three-time winners lost the big wicket of Raina in the third over when the experienced left-handed batsman, who has helped the team win so many matches in the past, got out to an irresponsible shot when he miscued one while trying to attack the Kiwi seamer.
Meanwhile, Ambati Rayudu retired hurt after taking a blow on his body to make matter worse for the Super Kings.
If that was not enough, holders Mumbai Indians piled more misery on CSK by sending the veteran Dhoni back to the hut for a poor score.
The World Cup-winning Indian captain timed his shot well but, to his shock, Boult completed a well-judged catch at deep square leg, capping a forgettable powerplay for the unit from Chennai.
After that, Gaikwad and Jadeja put together invaluable runs by mixing caution with aggression to give their team a total to defend against a side that is missing two of their big players in regular skipper Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya, whose seam-up bowling was missed when the Chennai duo was rebuilding their innings.