Kevin Pietersen’s first appearance of the 2014 Indian Premier League ended in defeat as his Delhi Daredevils crashed to a four-run loss at the hands of Hyderabad Sunrisers, who registered their first win of the campaign.
Pietersen, in action for the first time since this winter’s ill-fated Ashes series, made 16 runs on his return from a finger injury but was then forced to watch on from the dug-out as his side fell narrowly short.
JP Duminy needed to hit the last ball of the match for a six to force a Super Over but could only manage two off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s full toss, sparking celebrations from the Sunrisers, who had lost their two previous matches.
Hyderabad had earlier posted 184-1 from their 20 overs with Australia openers Aaron Finch and David Warner both impressing.
Finch posted 88 not out from just 53 balls and Warner finished unbeaten on 58 from 45 as only Shahbaz Nadeem (1-24) enjoyed any success with the ball for Delhi.
The Daredevils made a strong start to their run-chase through Quinton de Kock (48) and Murali Vijay (52) but their departures in the space of six deliveries put pressure on Pietersen and fellow newcomer Dinesh Karthik.
Pietersen got himself going with a towering six off Darren Sammy but holed out to long off when Dale Steyn returned to the attack to put Hyderabad firmly in charge.
Duminy (20no off seven) threatened an unlikely win for Delhi with a stunning cameo, but he ultimately came up short as Kumar held his nerve.