DelhI Daredevils 162-5 (Pietersen 106no) beat
Deccan Chargers 157-8 (Nadeem 3-16) by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Delhi
Kevin Pietersen struck the second century of the Indian Premier League 2012 and helped Delhi Daredevils demolish Deccan Chargers by five wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.
It was his highest T20 score, highlighted by nine towering sixes, and sent Delhi to the top of the points table once again.
Earlier, Deccan Chargers won the toss and elected to bat first. They got off to the worst start possible as Morne Morkel sent back skipper Kumar Sangakkara for just one run although Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel steadied the innings with a 71-run second wicket partnership.
But just as they were looking to take the match away from Delhi, left-arm spinner Shahzad Nadeem carried his good work over from Mumbai, routing them with three wickets. He accounted for both Dhawan (44 off 29 balls, five fours, one six) and Patel (45 off 27 balls, five fours, one six), as well as JP Duminy, reducing Deccan to 113 for four after they were 81 for one at one stage.
From there the visitors’ innings just unraveled as Morkel came back to complete his spell and added two more wickets to his kitty. He finished with three for 23 from his four overs and took over the Purple Cap for becoming the highest wicket-taker in the competition.
Nadeem finished with three for 16 in his four overs and only Bharat Chipli’s late contribution of 25 off 17 balls allowed the Chargers to cross the 150-run mark, ending with 157 for eight in their allotted 20 overs.
It wasn’t really a stiff target for Delhi’s batting prowess but they got off to the worst possible start. Openers Naman Ojha and Virender Sehwag were back in the hut with just 15 runs on board by the fourth over and the chase didn’t look too well for their loss.
An over later Dan Christian dismissed Mahela Jayawardene for just six and it seemed Deccan might run away with an upset win. But Kevin Pietersen started rebuilding the innings, first with Ross Taylor, and then as wickets tumbled around him, all on his own. Taylor was run out for 13, while Steyn scalped Irfan Pathan for just five runs.
Amidst the ruins though Pietersen stood tall and was punishing the bowling all over the park. He started slowly at first, getting himself in, but then was brutal when the slower bowlers came on. He reserved special treatment for Amit Mishra, a six over cover off the back foot the highlight of his innings.
In all, he hit six fours and nine sixes, breaking Chris Gayle’s record from earlier in the tournament. It did seem as if he would miss out on his hundred, but Yogesh Nagar was intelligent in his strike rotation. Pietersen brought up his hundred in the 20th over, taking Delhi home with five balls to spare and consigning Deccan to last place in the league table.
© Cricket World 2012