IPL 2012: Kevin Pietersen's daredevilry puts Delhi on top

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: Kevin Pietersen’s daredevilry with the bat helped Delhi Daredevils beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets in an Indian Premier League match at Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday.

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Pietersen’s heroics, scoring 103 off 64 balls have boosted DD's points, earning them the top spot on the points table. After electing to bat first, Kumar Sangakkara-led Deccan Chargers posted 157 for the loss of 8 wickets. Yet to find a victory in the on-going tournament, Chargers pressed hard for a competitive total (and a win) through Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel.

They could have done better than what was achieved if Patel and Dhawan stayed longer in the middle. After losing Sangakkara as early as in the third over to Morne Morkel, Patel and Dhawan took charge of the innings and went all out against a good Delhi bowling line-up. But not until the introduction of Shahbaz Nadeem in the 10th over. He struck in his first ball to remove an in-form Dhawan for 44 runs. He then removed the other dangerman, Parthiv Patel in the 12th over. He struck yet again with the wicket of Duminy later on.

A target of 158 was an easy target for Delhi with the kind of batting line-up they boast of. However, they suffered an early blow in their chase as they lost Naman Ojha in the fifth ball of the innings. Sehwag’s departure with just 20 runs on the board after 4 overs did bother them a bit. But Kevin Pietersen stood firm at one end while the wickets tumbled at the other and dragged Delhi out of danger to put them on the driver's seat.

Luckily, KP survived thrice before getting to that hundred after being dropped by Chipli while he was on 6, by Duminy on 68 and by Sangakkara when he was on 94 (it was a tough chance though). However, his Herculean effort earned him the Man of the Match award and a win for his team.

Teams:Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (C), Naman Ojha (w), Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, Yogesh Nagar, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.

Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Daniel Christian, Jean-Paul Duminy, Bharat Chipli, Parthiv Patel (W), Abhishek Jhunjunwala, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Veer Pratap Singh.