It was Suresh Raina who struck a fighting 59 off 37 balls to prepare the road for revival following a slow start and Dhoni (unbeaten 44 off 22) provided the late flourish, ending the innings in style with two sixes off Trent Boult.
After making just 27 runs in powerplay overs, the hosts eventually put on board a fighting 179 for four and dismissed Delhi for just 99 in 16.2 overs.
Delhi suffered a surprise batting collapse after being consistent this season. They were out of the game after losing half their batsmen by 11th over and ended up suffering their worst defeat. It was also their lowest total of the season.
Chennai, who now sit atop the table with 18 points, are now sure to end in the top-2, ensuring that they will have two shots at making the summit clash.
Mumbai Indians are the only team which can displace Capitals (16 points) from second place if they win their next two games and Delhi lose their last.
Delhi had hoped that dew would come into play while batting second but the Chennai spinners bamboozled them from the word go.
South African spinner Imran Tahir (4-12) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-9) tore apart the middle-order, sharing seven wickets between them.
Dhoni’s quick hands were at it again as he effected two lightening fast stumpings to dismiss skipper Shreyas Iyer (44) and dangerous Chris Morris (0).
Except Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan (19) none of the other Delhi batsmen could reach double-digit mark.
Earlier, Raina (59) and Faf du Plessis (39) added 83 runs for the second wicket to revive the innings after the Delhi bowlers produced tight spells upfront.
Dhoni, who returned to the side after recovering from a bout of fever, and Ravindra Jadeja added some quick runs to provide a late flourish to the innings.
Dhoni hit unbeaten 44 with four fours and three sixes while Jadeja smashed 25 off 10 with two sixes. He creamed off 19 runs from Kiwi pacer Trent Boult’s final over, hitting two sixes and a four.
This was after Boult and left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith (2-28) had straight-jacketed the Chennai batsmen after electing to bowl.
With Boult swinging the ball and Suchith accurate with his line and length, they gave away just seven runs in the first four overs.
Mumbai Indians vs Hyderabad Sunrisers