Pietersen struck 50 runs off 44 balls against the South African Highveld Lions after Lions made 139-5. Delhi responded with 117-9 after a seven-runs-an-over chase fell behind the target after just six overs.
Pietersen expressed his apology via social networking site twitter, “Apologies to all the @DelhiDaredevils fans! We should have done better today! On a more positive note - I’ll be in India on Sunday. Can’t wait!” he tweeted.
Delhi’s skipper Mahela Jayawardene expressed his disappointment: “We play very good cricket, but when it comes to those big matches, we don’t seem to find the right attitude. It could be put down to nerves and pressure. Because it has happened to us in the past, it probably goes through our minds when we’re playing a big game,” Jayawardene said.
“This is my first season with the Daredevils and this is something that I want us to talk among ourselves. We’ve got a good senior group and we can rectify that. We need to make sure that once we get to into a big game, the guys put up their hands and perform. After losing a game, it’s tough to be critical of yourself and analyse people,” he added.
Delhi sprang a selection surprise by omitting Jayawardene and introducing Australian David Warner, who was the second highest scorer with 21 while South African tailender Morne Morkel made 18 not out. Ross Taylor led instead.
Jayawardene explained: “With IPL (Indian Premier League) teams you face a unique situation where you can play only four foreigners and you have to ensure you are playing the right guys. It becomes especially crucial in our case, where we have four quality overseas batsmen and everyone plays a different role.
Going into this match, we realised that against the two left-arm pacers — Dirk Nannes and Sohail Tanvir — we needed a left-hander to open the batting,” Jayawardene said.