Anirudha holds Super Kings innings together
Srikkanth Anirudha lead the way for the defending IPL champions scoring an impressive half century to help the Chennai Super Kings reach 153-4 against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The opening batsman top scored for the Super Kings with a vital 64, the 23 year old smashed 4 fours and 2 sixes during his 55 ball innings to help the Super Kings set the Knight Riders a victory target of 154.
Having lost Murali Vijay (4) at the end of the first over the Super Kings title defence could have gone off the rails were it not for Yusuf Pathanís inability to take an easy catch.
Twice in the space of 6 deliveries Pathan put down easy catches to reprieve Anirudha and Suresh Raina, allowing the pair to go on and record a 2nd wicket partnership of 75.
The Knight Riders all rounder dropped Raina off his own bowling while Lakshmipathy Balaji was denied a wicket on his return to Chennai after Anirudha was dropped in the covers.
Anirudha made the Knight Riders pay dearly for Pathanís let off with three quick boundaries off the bowling of Jacques Kallis in the 6th over to help the Super Kings reach 45-1.
The 23 year old followed this up with the first "DLF maximum" of the tournament at the end of the next over after he dispatched a toss up delivery from Sarabjit Ladda high over the long boundary.
With the Super Kings threatening to take control of the game, Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir brought Rajat Bhatia into the attack at the start of the 8th over with great effect.
In partnership with Balaji, the medium fast bowler successfully slowed the home side down with Anirudha and Raina managing only one boundary in the space of three overs.
With the run rate dropping Raina tried to attack Pathan in the 11th but the 24 year old was caught by Ladda out on the boundary, just a delivery after Anirudha was put down by Eoin Morgan.
The loss of Raina brought Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni to the crease, much to the delight of the Chennai crowd who were still celebrating Indiaís World Cup victory.
Despite only scoring 2 boundaries in the space of 4 overs Dhoni and Anirudha remained calm at the crease as they slowly built the foundations of a vital partnership.
Anirudha completed his half century in the 14th over before Dhoni announced his arrival in IPL 4 with a massive six off the bowling of Ladda at the start of the 16th over.
Although he added 29 runs Dhoni was unable to stay at the crease to the end of the innings after he misjudged a short delivery from Jacque Kallis which was easily caught by wicket keeper Manvinder Bisla in the 18th over.
Having built a partnership of 49 with Dhoni, Anirudha quickly followed in the final over when he was bowled by Kallis to leave the Super Kings 138-4.
Despite the lose of Dhoni and Anirudha the Super Kings finished the inning on top thanks to Scott Styris and Albie Morkel who smashed 15 runs from the remaining 4 deliveries of the innings to leave the game evenly balanced.