Pietersen fifty not enough for Delhi
Kevin Pietersen’s half-century could not take Delhi Daredevils to the Champions League T20 final as they were made to regret accepting captain Mahela Jayawardene’s offer to sit out their 22-run loss to Lions at Kingsmead in Durban.
Jayawardene was surprisingly omitted in favour of more attacking opening batsman David Warner, who had not played in this year’s competition. The Australian was the only Delhi player besides Pietersen to pass 20 as the South African franchise defended 139 for five.
New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor, who led the Daredevils, won the toss but Lions built a competitive total on 50 from in-form opener Gulam Bodi and Neil McKenzie’s unbeaten 46 from 28 balls.
Alviro Petersen dominated the early scoring with 24 until he was caught behind off Umesh Yadav, who marked his 25th birthday with impressive figures of 2-20 from four overs.
Quinton de Kock and Dwaine Pretorius made little impact, falling in consecutive mid-innings overs before Bodi and McKenkie added 59.
Bodi departed in the same fashion as Petersen and Jean Symes was caught behind first ball off Morne Morkel, but McKenzie took advantage of immediately being twice dropped from back-to-back deliveries.
Sohail Tanvir struck a first-over blow when Virender Sehwag skied him to mid-on but Warner was unperturbed and had 21 to his name when he was caught and bowled by Chris Morris.
Although Pietersen held firm, Unmukt Chand was the first of six wickets in as many overs during which Delhi collapsed from 62 for two in the 12th to 92 for eight when Pietersen went for 50. Morris, who had shelled the England batsman on 43, got him to top-edge a bouncer behind en route to stunning figures of 2-7 from four overs.
Dirk Nannes, who had snared Taylor caught and bowled, returned to remove Agit Agarkar and almost had a hat-trick when Morkel under-edged past the wicketkeeper.
Tanvir comfortably repelled the improbable 29 needed from the last over to seal a place in Sunday’s showpiece when Lions will face Sydney Sixers or Titans, who meet in tomorrow's semi-final at Centurion.