New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) 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 Thursday.
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.
Deccan Chargers were desperate for a win and after opting to bat, though they lost skipper Kumar Sangakkara (1) early, crucial knocks from Parthiv Patel (45) and Shikhar Dhawan (44) took them to a competitive 157 for eight in 20 overs.
Delhi Daredevils' young left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was again the pick of the bowlers bagging three for 16 while South African fast bowler Morne Morkel got three for 23.
While chasing, Daredevils had the worst possible start losing Naman Ojha (1), Virender Sehwag (7) and Mahela Jayawardene (6) in quick succession.
Deccan Chargers pacer Veer Pratap Singh made a memorable debut in the IPL striking in the very first over to get rid of Ojha while in-form South African fast bowler Dale Steyn (2-19) dismissed Sehwag.
Steyn again remained the best bowler for the Chargers as he also removed Mahela Jayawardene (6) but didn't get much support from the other end.
Pietersen and Ross Taylor (13) then steadied the ship with their 42-run stand for the fourth wicket for a while before the Kiwi captain got run out.
Pietersen, who got a life in the fourth over as Bharat Chipli put down a regulation catch, was in blistering form and played shots all around the wicket. Leggie Amit Mishra came in for some stick as the Englishman hit him for two sixes and a four in the eighth over.
With the packed Delhi crowd behind the Englishman, Pietersen turned on the heat on the Deccan bowlers as he plundered 21 runs off Jean Paul Duminy in the 13th over, which included three consecutive sixes.
However, the South African born cricketer was given yet another reprieve as Duminy failed to grasp a tough chance off his own bowling. Pietersen and Yogesh Nagar (23) put on a 48-run stand as they took Delhi across the line.
Earlier, Deccan Chargers electing to bat, lost skipper Kumar Sangakarra (1) early in the innings after he mistimed a pull off Morkel soared high in the sky and Nagar took a safe catch.
Dhawan and Patel then forged a 71-run stand with both the batsman scoring at a blistering rate. While the two were at the crease, it seemed Deccan would post the Daredevils a huge target.
Patel particularly looked in great touch as he smashed five fours and a six in his innings of 45 off 27 balls.
But Nadeem triggered a batting collapse by picking up the wickets of Patel, Dhawan and Jean Paul Duminy (4) in his three consecutive overs. Bharat Chipli then came up with a cameo of 17-ball 25 to take Deccan Chargers to a fighting total. Former Indian pacer, Ajit Agarkar looked completely out of sync as he was plundered for 42 runs in three overs.
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