The Delhi Daredevils capitulated in the eye of the Lions - crashing to a 22-run defeat in the first semi-final of the Champions League T20 at Kingsmead.

The Highveld Lions combined brilliantly to put in a perfect bowling performance - all six of their bowlers picking up at least a wicket - to restrict the Daredevils to a mere 117 for nine, after the home side had posted 139 for five in their innings.

Kevin Pietersen was the lone man to get anywhere near a respectable individual score, but his 50 off 44 balls was not enough on a day when the Lions' bowlers ruled.

Delhi sprung a surprise, choosing to play David Warner with captain Mahela Jayawardene deciding to sit the match out. However, it was Warner's opening partner, Virender Sehwag, who got out off the first ball he faced - the third of the innings. The Indian opener carelessly tried to smash the ball into orbit but only skied the ball to Alviro Petersen at mid-on.

Warner and Pietersen then put on a  decent partnership, as the international duo tried to bring Delhi back on course. However, once Warner got out - top-edging Chriss Morris, who himself completed the catch - one batsman after the other fell by the wayside, with the likes of Irfan Pathan, Unmukt Chand and stand-in Ross Taylor disappointing.

Morris had an outstanding spell of two for seven from four overs, with Aaron Phangiso again impressing, picking up two wickets for 18 runs.

Earlier, Gulam Bodi and Neil McKenzie played a couple of crucial innings to see their side to a respectable target - McKenzie the aggressor scoring a quickfire 46 off 28 balls.

Lions captain Petersen and Bodi began on a sound note, going at just over six runs an over, and taking their time in the initial part of the innings, which is what is needed on South African pitches.

Petersen (24 in 19) was the first man out - Umesh Yadav picking up the wicket in his first over with the South African Test opener outside edging a full delivery to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha.

Quinton De Kock, the 19-year-old who has impressed everyone by playing a couple of bright innings, did not last too long - caught in the deep by Chand off Ajit Agarkar's bowling for a 13-ball 11.

Dwayne Pretorius followed De Kock back into the hut soon after, before McKenzie came into the crease with the score reading 63 for three in 10.4 overs.

The experienced duo put on a 59-run partnership, with Bodi eventually reaching his 50 off 47 balls before falling two balls later to Yadav.

McKenzie scored a couple of valuable boundaries towards the end of the innings - the Delhi Daredevils, who were extremely poor in the field, giving him a couple of reprieves in the final overs - to take his side to 139 for five in 20 overs, which eventually proved to be more than enough.

The Titans take on the Sydney Sixers in the second semi-final on Friday.