Delhi Daredevils' Kevin Pietersen, who smashed his maiden century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Deccan Chargers Thursday, rated the innings as his best in the Twenty20.
The Englishman was adjudged man of the match for an unbeaten 103 off 64 balls that helped the Daredevils beat the Chargers by five wickets.
“It is amazing, a special feeling to score a century in T20 cricket. This is my first in this format, so it has to be my favourite,” Pietersen told reporters.
Pietersen felt that the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch was a sporting one that had something for both the bowlers as well as the batsmen.
“It is good to get a century in T20 cricket. It was good wicket to bat on and also good for the pacers who bent their back, not much for the spinners. In Twenty20 you need entertaining wicket,” he added.
“I played as per the situation. Once you get yourself in there, you can get the boundaries. I was in good form against Sri Lanka and it is all about backing yourself in the field,” he said.
The Daredevils were reeling at 65 for four but Pietersen’s heroics to bail them out.
“When you lose wicket, you slow down and Ross (Taylor)’s wicket put pressure on me. They played good cricket,” he said.
The South African born cricketer praised left-arm spinner, Shabaz Nadeem for yet another brilliant performance. Nadeem put the brakes on the Chargers onslaught by removing Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel and ended the match with figures of three for 16.
“He (Nadeem) bowled a good spell in the last match taking three for nine against Mumbai. He was fantastic today. He changes his angle and is a clever bowler. There were talks of who could be the spinner of IPL V and he is turning out to be a superstar,” he said.
Deccan Chargers’ coach Darren Lehmann lamented yet another poor fielding performance as Pietersen was dropped thrice.
“Our fielding is not good enough. You can’t drop Kevin. It was one of the best innings that we have seen and when you drop someone like him, it costs you the game,” he said.
“We bowled well early on but Kevin took the game away from us. In the 12th-13th over we lost our way because of some poor decisions,” he added.
The Australian felt that his team should have scored 20 more runs.
“We were probably 20 runs short with the bat. We are playing 90 per cent but we need to put another 10 per cent. But I am not disheartened yet. We are playing good cricket. It is a young side but we are not finishing well,” he said.