Delhi Daredevils batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose hundred helped beat his former team Deccan Chargers by five wickets on Thursday, said that he felt "a little sorry" for Chargers, who lost their fourth straight match in the tournament. Deccan sold Pietersen to Daredevils in the 2012 transfer window after he missed out on the entire 2011 season due to injury. Pietersen said that the thought of playing against his former team didn't cross his mind during the match, as he concentrated on his batting.
"I feel a little sorry for Deccan, but we came out here as Delhi players and had to get the two points. They played very well, they put us under a lot of pressure and could have won. Luckily we came through but they are a very good team that should have won against Mumbai, and [against Rajasthan Royals] the other night," Pietersen said.
Pietersen said though that there is still time in the tournament for Deccan to improve. "You don't want to play your best cricket in April, if you have a good May. In my first season [in 2009] I played for Bangalore, and we lost five out of our first six games and went on to play the final in Jo'burg [Johannesburg], so nothing's lost for Deccan at all," Pietersen said.
Pietersen said his innings against Deccan was his best in the Twenty20 format. "It's my first hundred in T20 cricket so it's my favourite. I hit one [six] on the top terrace which was good. It's amazing, you look at guys that get T20 centuries and you envy them. It's something that I hadn't done yet, I've got Test centuries, ODI centuries and now a T20 century. Although it's the IPL and not an international T20, it's still a special feeling."
Chargers, who've struggled in the field this season, made matters worse on Thursday by dropping Pietersen three times [on 6, 68, 84]. Chargers coach Darren Lehmann said that poor fielding cost them the last two matches. "I said it the last time, they've cost us matches, they have cost us the last two games. You can't drop a bloke like Pietersen. To give him some credit it's one of the best knocks I've ever seen so when you drop him on six it costs you the game."
"We were in a good position at the 12th, 13th over mark and then we lost our way with a couple of poor shots and poor decision making. We are playing at 90%, if we kick off the other 10% we'll win each game." Lehmann said.
Daredevils currently top the table with four wins and one loss. The team have been performing well [with both bat and ball] and Pietersen said it was a team effort that helped them beat Deccan. "Irfan was good, Yogi [Yogesh Nagar] was good, unfortunately we ran out Ross Taylor and it put a lot more pressure on me," Pietersen said.
"[Shahbaz] Nadeem was excellent, he took three wickets for nine runs in the Chennai game, went to Mumbai and bowled beautifully with the new ball and again he bowled fantastically today. He's a clever bowler," Pietersen said. "People were talking about us not having a spinner for this tournament but we've turned out to have a little superstar."