Kevin Pietersen's return to cricket was overshadowed by a man of the match performance by Australian Aaron Finch who blasted The Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory with another brutal display of batting.
The Delhi Daredevils, captained by Kevin Pietersen, could do little to stop the Australian duo of Aaron Finch and David Warner. However, they were not helped by some sloppy fielding and dropped catches.
The Sunrisers won the toss and elected to bat and this looked to be a good decision as Finch and Shikhar Dhawan gave them a very solid start. Dhawan had been the dominant partner until he was dismissed for 33 after posting a half century opening stance with Finch.
This brought to the crease David Warner who ably supported his compatriot Finch as they produced a fantastic partnership to set up a challenging score for the Sunrisers. They timed their partnership to perfection and seriously increased the run rate in the last five overs of the innings ending on 184-1.
Warner, dropped twice during his innings, finished on 58 from 45 balls but it was Finch who was the star of the show with 88 from 53 balls. Finch combined some deft touches with some brutal shots as he and Warner added 128 from 82 balls. Worryingly for opposition bowling attacks is the fact that Darren Sammy, equally as dangerous with the bat, did not even have to bat for the Sunrisers.
Whilst chasing a challenging score the Delhi Daredevils will have been confident given their star line-up, including JP Duminy, and the return of Kevin Pietersen. They got off to a very good start with openers Quinton de Kock (48) and Murali Vijay (52) setting a perfect platform with a 99 run partnership until de Kock was caught in the deep going for one shot too many. Vijay perished soon after which left the Daredevils relying on Dinesh Karthik and Kevin Pietersen.
Despite having a great start to their innings the Delhi Daredevils' run rate decreased with Pietersen at the crease. His lack of games, having not played since early January, was clear to see as he scored just 16 runs off 17 balls. Despite their best efforts both batsmen perished in successive balls to Dale Steyn.
JP Duminy (20*) and Manoj Tiwarny (23*) did their best to chase down the remaining runs but fell agonisingly short of their target as The Sunrisers Hyderabad won their first game of the 2014 IPL by four runs.
This game showed everyone why the IPL is such an entertaining concept but with the quality players on show it was unlikely to be anything but enthralling.
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