New Delhi, Apr 19: Kevin Pietersen's 103 not out off 64 balls ensured Delhi Daredevils register a comprehensive five-wicket win with five balls to spare over the hapless Deccan Chargers, bringing up their fourth victory in IPL 5, after they enthralled the home crowd on Thursday.
It was the worst start for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 5 as they lost 3 wickets for 34 runs in the powerplay, while their previous worst score was 49/1 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Game 5.
But Pietersen's power-packed performance was the highlight of Delhi's innings. Though he was dropped thrice, the first one proved vital as he was batting on 6 at the time, while he got a life as Bharat Chipli put down a simple chance off Dale Steyn at midwicket. His innings included 9 sixes and 6 boundaries as he was awarded the Man-of-the-match for his magnificent innings, which helped the team to move to the top of the table.
Deccan Chargers got a dream start as debutant Veer Pratap Singh got his maiden wicket after dismissing Naman Ojha in the first over of the innings, to reduce the star-studded Daredevils' line-up to 59/3 in 10 overs.
Chargers stunned everyone with a better fielding display and good bowling performance, as Delhi Daredevils were struggling to score runs after the fall of top order.
Chargers got off to a good start as they dismissed Virender Sehwag (7), Naman Ojha (1), Jayawardene (6) within during the powerplay which put the brakes on the run-flow.
As the saying goes, 'Catches win matches', Chipli's dropped catch might have cost them a match that was probably going the Deccan way.
This is the third time in the tournament that Deccan Chargers have lost a match due to poor fielding. Time and again, Chipli has been the culprit. Pietersen, after the initial drop, went on to smash a 50 off 42 balls.
Pietersen got 21 runs off Duminy's 13th over, to get his 50 in IPL 5, and his highest score in the cash-rich league.
Steyn was fantastic as he gave Chargers the breakthrough at the right time as Pietersen and Pathan were setting up a platform for another win, but Christian gave away 12 runs off the 18th over, to make it easy for Delhi Daredevils as they need just 8 runs to win off 12 balls.
Yogesh Nagar and Pietersen's 48-run partnership off 4.3 overs made it easy for Delhi Daredevils as they chased the target within 19.1 overs.
Deccan Chargers' Innings Report: Daredevils' Shahbaz Nadeem and Morne Morkel ripped through Deccan Chargers' line-up as they managed to score 157/8 in 20 overs after a brisk start from Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel. Delhi Daredevils need 158 runs to win the 23rd match of IPL 5 played at Feroz Shah Kotla.
After winning the toss, Chargers elected to bat, and looked like a good decision, as they posted 84/2 in 10 overs. Post strategic time-out, things changed as Deccan Chargers lost track, as Delhi Daredevils came back strongly.
Nadeem and Morkel changed the fate of the match as they grabbed three wickets each to keep the run-rate under check as Chargers lost five wickets for 53 runs.
Chargers scored 16 runs off Agarkar in the 19th over which helped the team reach 157/8 in 20 overs.
Deccan Chargers lost 6 wickets for 56 runs in the last nine overs, being the turning point of the match.
After Sangakkara's dismissal, Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel ensured that they had nothing to lose during their 71-run partnership to reach 81/2 before Dhawan was dismissed by Nadeem in the 10th over.
Parthiv Patel (45), Dhawan (44) both played a vital role while the momentum dropped after the fall of the duo. Daniel Christian (19), JP Duminy (4), Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (4), Dale Steyn (2) were dismissed by Delhi Daredevils' bowlers with ease, as nothing different was needed to wind-up the tail.
Shahbaz Nadeem and Morne Morkel were impressive yet again, as they picked 3 wickets each to reduce the Chargers to 157/8 in 20 overs.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (captain, wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Ankit Sharma, Veer Pratap Singh, Parthiv Patel
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Mahela Jaywaredene (vice-captain), Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Yogesh Nagar, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan
Umpires: Shavir Tarapore (India) and Billy Bowden (New Zealand)
Third Umpire: Vineet Kulkarni (India)
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)