Delhi Daredevils started their home run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on a brilliant note with a comprehensive eight wicket win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings on a rainy Tuesday at the packed Ferozeshah Kotla.
Daredevils chased down the target of 111 with 40 balls to spare after their new recruit Kevin Pietersen top scored with an unbeaten 43 and skipper Virender Sehwag made a quickfire 33 off 21 balls.
The Daredevils bowlers also justified Sehwag's decision to bowl as they churned out a disciplined performance to restrict Super Kings to 110 for eight in 20 overs.
Match in pics
South African pacer Morne Morkel, who was also adjudged Man of the Match, was the pick of the Daredevils bowlers, bagging two for 19, while left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan picked up one for 25.
With the win, Daredevils jumped to the third spot in the points table with four points from three matches while Super Kings are sixth with just two points from three matches.
Thundershowers delayed the match by half-an-hour and local boy Sehwag had no doubt in opting to bowl as Super Kings scored their lowest total against the hosts.
Youngster Naman Ojha (14) and Sehwag took Daredevils to a flying start with their 32-run stand. Ojha set the tone for the chase smacking the first three balls of the innings for fours as Morne's elder brother Albie conceded 12 runs in the opening over.
Ojha's 12-ball innings was cut short after he was run out while attempting a second run.
However, there was no stopping Sehwag, who was in an aggressive mode. Sehwag greeted Doug Bollinger with a four in the second over and smacked Albie for a four and a six in the third.
Change in pace did the trick for Super Kings and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck in his first over to get rid of Sehwag, who holed out to Murali Vijay at backward square. Sehwag hit four fours and a six in his 21-ball knock.
Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene (20 not out) took Super Kings home safely with their 61-run stand for the third wicket. The duo was playing their first match for the Daredevils. Pietersen and Jayawardene missed the first two matches due to national duty in the Sri Lanka-England Test series.
Pietersen entertained the crowd, smacking three fours and two sixes while Jayawardene was happy giving the strike to the Englishman, who tried his trademark switch-hit on a couple of occasions without much success.
Earlier, Daredevils were stunning on the field, effecting four run-outs while the pacers troubled the famed Super Kings batting line-up on a moist track that offered some assistance. Dwayne Bravo was the top scorer with 22 while Suresh Raina made 17.
Daredevils' left-arm spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Shahbaz Nadeem bowled miserly to dry up the run scoring at one end. Nadeem gave away just nine from his three overs while the South African conceded 15 from his four. The session with the spinners saw Super Kings face 56 balls without a single boundary.
Super Kings made a poor start losing opening batsman Murali Vijay in the very first ball after a poor mix-up with Faf du Plesis (15). It was poor call by Du Plesis and by the time he back-off Vijay was three quarters down the pitch.
Du Plesis looked in his rhythm and hit a flurry of fours in the first three overs. But a change of bowling did the trick as Morne stuck with his very first ball to get rid of Du Plesis, who tried to punch it through covers but gave an easy catch to compatriot Ven der Merwe.
Raina raised hopes with two brutal sixes off Pathan and Umesh Yadav but his stay was cut short by a brilliant piece of fielding by Yogesh Nagar. Subramaniam Badrinath (15) was the third batsman to be run out, by Pietersen.