Tepid Pietersen returns to the crease as Delhi Daredevils beat Kolkata Knight Riders
21:10 GMT, 13 October 2012
Kevin Pietersen endured a lukewarm return to competitive action but his Delhi Daredevils side still trounced Kolkata Knight Riders by 52 runs in the Champions League Twenty20.
The controversial batsman struck a modest 14 off 18 balls in his first meaningful innings since the England and Wales Cricket Board announced he would be subject to a 'reintegration process' back into the national set-up.
It did not matter, however, with Unmukt Chand plundering 40 off 27 balls as the Daredevils made 160 for eight before early wickets undermined Kolkata's chase in Centurion.
Back at the crease: Kevin Pietersen hit 14 off 18 balls
Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel each took two wickets as the Knight Riders finished on 108 for seven – having been three for three at one stage.
There was further concern for Kolkata when Jacques Kallis retired injured and it fell to Manoj Tiwary to top score for the Knight Riders with 33 from 38 balls.
Mahela Jayawardene and Virender Sehwag had put on 36 for the first wicket for Delhi, who were put into bat, before the former was bowled for 21 by West Indies' spinner Sunil Narine, allowing Pietersen to make his long-awaited entrance.
Sehwag was then caught behind off Pradeep Sangwan for 22 and Pietersen could not take advantage of being dropped twice when he perished after pulling Brett Lee to Narine at deep midwicket.
That's out: Brett Lee is congratulated after removing Pietersen
Chand and Ross Taylor boosted Delhi with a partnership of 63 for the fourth wicket, but the latter was unlucky to be caught by Rajat Bhatia at deep square leg for 36 off Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Narine returned to stifle Delhi's innings, first skittling Chand before Naman Ojha holed out to Yusuf Pathan at long-off two balls later.
Pawan Negi then top-edged a Kallis bouncer to deep square leg while Ajit Agarkar clipped Balaji – who conceded 61 runs from his four overs – to short third man having made eight.
The Knight Riders needed a strong start in their chase but they lost three wickets in the first seven deliveries.
On the front foot: Pietersen in action in Centurion
Captain Gautam Gambhir lamely chipped
to Pietersen at mid-on off the bowling of Irfan, who also trapped
Manvinder Bisla for one with an inswinging delivery, before Brendon
McCullum cut straight to point off Morkel.
worsened for the Knight Riders as Kallis had to retire in the same over
after a Morkel delivery cannoned into the veteran batsman's right hand,
while Yadav clean-bowled Yusuf Pathan in the fifth over.
and Tiwary steadied the ship with a partnership of 47 but the run rate
was still steadily climbing before Tiwary was caught and bowled by
Agarkar for 33.
was caught behind while looking to cut off Morkel and Lee missed a full
toss off Yadav to be bowled for 13 as Kolkata came up well short of the
Cheap wicket: Irfan Pathan celebrates the dismissal of Gautam Gambhir