First, it was Gaikwad who returned to form after a string of poor outings in his first three matches with a composed 42-ball knock that set it up for CSK after KKR opted to field.
Gaikwad played the role of aggressor, smashing four sixes and four boundaries, while his senior South African partner du Plessis gave the youngster the backup as the duo produced CSK's best start of the season with an opening stand of 115.
Du Plessis came on his own after Gaikwad's departure in the 13th over as he added 50 runs with Moeen Ali (25 off 12 balls) off just 26 balls.
CSK scored 76 runs in the final five overs with the South African at his attacking best in the final five overs.
He smashed Andre Russell for three successive boundaries and raced to 90s with a six off Pat Cummins in the final over in his 60-ball knock which was studded with four sixes and nine fours.
CSK finished it off in style with Ravindra Jadeja hitting Cummins for a six as Nitish Rana palmed it over the midwicket boundary that summed up the plight of KKR.
MS Dhoni promoted himself to No. 4 and finally broke his jinx against Sunil Narine, hitting his first boundary after 64 balls against the mystery spinner en route to a eight-ball 17.
Gaikwad made his intention clear in the very first over bowled by Cummins when he pulled him over the rope for a maximum.
There was no looking back for the 24-year-old as he also took on Russell and then stepped down the track off Nagarkoti for another maximum en route to his fifth IPL fifty in 33 balls.
Du Plessis joined the party, hammering Nagarkoti for another six in the same over as KKR had no answer to the opening assault by CSK.