PRETORIA: An unbeaten half-century from Tillakaratne Dilshan helped the Delhi Daredevils inflict a first Indian Premier League defeat of the season on the Deccan Chargers with a comfortable six-wicket victory in Pretoria.
The Sri Lanka batsman paced his innings superbly and was given good support from Dinesh Karthik (41) to help Delhi easily chase down their 149-run target with more than an over to spare.
Their performance came after Dirk Nannes and Ashish Nehra had earlier claimed two wickets apiece to restrict the table-topping Chargers, who had Dwayne Smith (48) to thank for helping them reach a competitive total.
Australian Nannes struck a double blow early on, claiming the key wickets of Adam Gilchrist (eight), caught behind by Karthik, and Herschelle Gibbs, snapped up by AB de Villiers at mid-off without troubling the scorers.
It was two for 19 at that stage and could have been even better for Delhi had captain Virender Sehwag not put down Azhar Bilakhia early in his innings while fielding in the slips.
The introduction of Amit Mishra, though, spelt another breakthrough, this time Rohit Sharma (17) tempted into playing at a flighted delivery that was caught by Mithun Manhas in the deep, followed by the wicket of Bilakhia (22), trapped leg before wicket by Daniel Vettori.
That brought together Tirumalasetti Suman and Smith, who looked untroubled at the crease bludgeoning 65 in 33 balls, before the former top-edged to De Villiers running back from cover for 23.
Smith looked poised to lead his side to an even bigger total, but Nehra ended his 28-ball stay when he had the West Indian excellently caught by Vettori running to his left from mid-off.
Shoaib Ahmed (nought), Venugopal Rao (16) and Pragyan Ojha (one) perished cheaply in the closing overs as Deccan ended on 148 for nine.
In response, Delhi got off to a decent start with Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag reaching 30 in the fourth over, when the latter went for a shot too many against RP Singh and smacked the ball straight to Gibbs at point for 20.
Ahmed then claimed two big wickets in De Villiers (five) and Gambhir (17), but Dilshan and Karthik made light work of the remaining 100 runs.
Patiently, they brought up their 50 stand in 45 balls and took the score to 128, when Ojha trapped Karthik lbw.
But Dilshan led them home with his calm 46-ball half-century that came up with a six as Delhi finished the game with eight deliveries to spare.