Dhoni's side smashed 242-6 off their 20 overs en route to a comfortable 54-run win against the Dolphins in Bangalore.
Their mark of 242 runs matched Otago's score against the Perth Scorchers in the competition last year.
Suresh Raina led the way with 90 off 43 deliveries while Brendon McCullum (49), Ravindra Jadeja (40 not out) and Faf du Plessis (30) also played important roles.
Mohit Sharma took 4-41 in the Dolphins' response " they were bowled out for 188 from the last ball of their chase " but it was Chennai's batting that had Dhoni smiling.
"We batted really well," Dhoni said.
"The wicket remained quite the same " credit to Raina and McCullum for a great start.
"It was important to utilise all resources so we went really hard.
"With our bowling struggling slightly it was important to get those 15-20 extra runs, even if we go down trying to get those runs.
"If you want to win tournaments you have to come up with better performances [but] our batsmen won't score 240 every time."
Man-of-the-match Raina smashed eight sixes and four fours in his knock that gave Chennai a 1-1 record for the tournament.
And he paid credit to McCullum and Dwayne Smith for consistently laying the platform for him to play aggressive innings.
"When you have Smith and Baz, if there's a good start then you can play positively," Raina said.
"It's a good start for us. Looking forward to carrying on from here."
Chennai's next CLT20 challenge comes against the Lahore Lions on Thursday.