Four-time Indian Premier League winners Chennai Super Kings qualified for their 10th final with a 15-run win over holders Gujarat Titans in the first qualifier at Chepauk on Tuesday.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway shared an 87-run opening stand before a late flurry from Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja helped Chennai post 172-7 after Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl first.
After a wicketless powerplay, Gaikwad reached his half-century off 36 balls after getting a lifeline off a no-ball by Darshan Nalkande on a wicket-taking delivery.
But pacer Mohit Sharma provided the breakthrough for Gujarat after bowling out Gaikwad for 60, while Conway (40) was dismissed by Mohammed Shami.
However, Ajinkya Rahane (17) along with Ambati Rayudu (17) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) added a quickfire 56 runs.
Chennai's Deepak Chahar then claimed the crucial wickets of Wriddhiman Saha (12) and Shubman Gill (42), while Jadeja and Maheesh Theekshana picked up four wickets for 46 runs as Gujarat's batting order collapsed.
Gill's 42 runs off 38 balls were in vain as the likes of captain Hardik Pandya, Dasun Shanaka, David Miller, Vijay Shankar and Rahul Tewatia were all dismissed under 20 runs.
A disciplined bowling attack led by Deepak Chahar, Theekshana, Jadeja and Matheesha Pathirana got two wickets each.
Gujarat will have another shot at reaching the final when they take on the winners of Wednesday's second qualifier between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants.
Chennai are searching for a record-equalling fifth title and their second in three years.