A brilliant unbeaten 103 off 64 balls by Kevin Pietersen gave the Delhi Daredevils their fourth consecutive win as they beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here yesterday. Chasing 158 for victory, the Daredevils scored 162 for five with five balls to spare.
Pietersen capped off a brilliant day for him by bringing his maiden IPL century with a six that also brought up the winning runs and took Daredevils to the top of the table with eight points from five matches. Deccan Chargers suffered their fourth consecutive loss and remained at the bottom of the table with no points. Pietersen, rated the innings as his best in the Twenty20. “It is amazing, a special feeling to score a century in T20 cricket. This is my first in this format, so it has to be my favourite,” Pietersen told reporters.
Pietersen felt that the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch was a sporting one that had something for both the bowlers as well as the batsmen. “It is good to get a century in T20 cricket. It was good wicket to bat on and also good for the pacers who bent their back, not much for the spinners. In Twenty20 you need entertaining wicket,” he added. “I played as per the situation. Once you get yourself in there, you can get the boundaries. I was in good form against Sri Lanka and it is all about backing yourself in the field,” he said.
Deccan Chargers’ coach Darren Lehmann lamented yet another poor fielding performance as Pietersen was dropped thrice. “Our fielding is not good enough. You can’t drop Kevin. It was one of the best innings that we have seen and when you drop someone like him, it costs you the game,” he said.
“We were probably 20 runs short with the bat. We are playing 90 per cent but we need to put another 10 per cent,” he added.
Deccan Chargers: Sangakkara c Nagar b Morkel 1, Dhawan lbw b Nadeem 44, Patel c Jayawardene b Nadeem 45, Christian c Nadeem b Yadav 19, Duminy c Sehwag b Nadeem 4, Chipli not out 25, Jhunjhunwala c Ojha b Morkel 4, Steyn c Sehwag b Morkel 2, Mishra run out 6, Ankit Sharma not out 1. Extras: (w5, nb1) 6. Total: (for eight wkts in 20 overs) 157. FOW: 1-10, 2-81, 3-106, 4-113, 5-125, 6-132, 7-134, 8-156. Bowling: Pathan 4-0-27-0, Pietersen 2-0-16-0, Morkel 4-0-23-3, Agarkar 3-0-42-0, Yadav 3-0-33-1, Nadeem 4-0-16-3.
Delhi Daredevils: Naman Ojha c Duminy b Pratap Singh 1, Sehwag c Christian b Steyn 7, Pietersen not out 103, Jayawardene c Sangakkara b Christian 6, Taylor run out (Dhawan) 13, Irfan Pathan c Patel b Steyn 5, Yogesh Nagar not out 23. Extras: (w4) 4. Total: (for five wickets in 19.1 overs) 162. FOW: 1-2, 2-15, 3-23, 4-65, 5-114. Bowling: Veer Pratap Singh 4-0-31-1, Steyn 4-0-19-2, Christian 4-0-35-1, Duminy 3-0-33-0, Mishra 2-0-26-0, Ankit Sharma 2.1-0-18-0