Kevin Pietersen's highest T20 score sees Dolphins home
Kevin Pietersen’s unbeaten 115 from 66 balls, his highest Twenty20 score helped Dolphins beat Lions by one run in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge clash in Durban on Wednesday.
At 87 for 6 in the 15th over, it looked as though Dolphins would struggle to even bat out their quota of overs, but the former England batsman’s blistering knock helped them get to 174-6.
After being overshadowed by South Africa’s David Miller in their opening game, which the Dolphins won, Pietersen was a man on a mission in their second game.
With his team in deep trouble, the 35-year-old scored 10 sixes and five fours on the way to his second T20 century. Despite coming to the crease in the first over after the fall of the first wicket, he stayed right till the end, without showing much signs of exhaustion.
The right-hander took a particular liking to Lions’s death bowlers as he smashed 62 runs off the last three overs. Going into the 18th over on 59, a century looked a long way away but he hit seven of his 10 sixes in the last 18 balls of the innings.
He got to his hundred in the final over, in which he scored 30 runs, including four successive sixes off Dwaine Pretorius. The seventh wicket stand with Keshav Maharaj was worth 87 runs in just 5.5 overs, but Maharaj only scored 13 of those runs as he was unbeaten at the end of the innings.
In response, the Lions’ reply looked well on course for the win, especially after their opening stand of 58 between Rassie van der Dussen (32) and Devon Conway (63 off 46).
Even after the fall of the first wicket, Alviro Petersen, who finished with an unbeaten 48, added 77 for the second wicket before Conway departed. Despite looking in control for most of their innings, Lions ultimately fell short.
Needing 13 off the final over with a set batsmen at the crease, they couldn’t get the job done as they only managed 11 off pacer Andile Phelukwayo and ended up losing the game by a single run.
The win was Dolphins‘s second of the competition and helped them claim top spot in the group stages of the six-team tournament.