Pietersen, bowlers lead Delhi to big win
Kevin Pietersen marked his maiden appearance in the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League with an unbeaten 43 for his new side the Delhi Daredevils as they coasted to an eight-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Tuesday.
The flamboyant England batsman plundered two sixes and three boundaries in his 26-ball innings with the hosts chasing down the 111 victory target in just 13.2 overs.
Earlier, Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel spearheaded a fine display with the ball for Delhi with two for 19 in his four overs and was aided admirably by Irfan Pathan (1-25), Umesh Yadav (1-24) and a hefty four run-outs by the visitors.
Chennai eventually posted 110 for eight, a total in which Suresh Raina top-scored with 17, before they eventually slumped to the heaviest ever loss in terms of balls in the IPL’s short history.
The hosts, who won the toss and chose to field first, were gifted a wicket with the first delivery of the match when Murali Vijay (0) went without facing.
The India opener was called and then sent back by Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis, but there was no chance of salvation as he had already run almost all the way to the striker's end.
Raina helped Du Plessis plunder 26 in the next three overs, before the latter thick-edged Morkel to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha for 15, while the former was run out by Yogesh Nagar.
The Super Kings reached 50 in the eighth over, but lost another wicket through poor running on 64 when Pietersen combined with Ojha to dislodge Subramaniam Badrinath (15).
Ravindra Jadeja also managed a start, reaching 13 before he was out, although there was nothing he could do but marvel after gloveman Ojha took a splendid one-handed catch throwing himself to his left after another thick edge by a batsman.
That left Chennai on 66 for five, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was caught at long-on by Mahela Jayawardene off Morkel, falling for 11 not long after.
They eventually went past 100 in the penultimate over of the innings, with time for one more run-out, that of Ravichandran Ashwin (8), as the innings closed on a negative note.
Delhi wasted little time in getting going as Ojha plundered the first three deliveries by Albie Morkel to the fence, the first two to fine leg and the third over slip.
Virender Sehwag was also in an aggressive mood at the other end with his first seven balls smashed for 16, including a back-foot drive over deep extra cover for six.
But the run-out curse then rubbed off onto the two batsmen with a miscommunication accounting for Ojha (14) after a good throw to the non-striker's end by Faf du Plessis running back from cover.
The 50 came up in the sixth over when Sehwag turned Ashwin for two, but the opener needlessly fell with the final ball that was lofted down the throat of Vijay at backward square leg for 33.
Pietersen and Jayawardene (20 off 21 balls) then shared an unbroken 61-run stand to take their side to a second win of the season with 40 deliveries remaining.
DELHI DAREDEVILS - Virender Sehwag (capt), Naman Ojha (wk), Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Venugopal Rao, Roelof van der Merwe, Irfan Pathan, Morne Morkel, Yogesh Nagar, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS - Murali Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Subramaniam Bardinath, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, R Ashwin, Shadab Jakati, Doug Bollinger.