Michael Chopra banished his winter goal drought in the most convincing of fashions as his hat-trick secured a 3-2 victory over Leicester, which pushes Cardiff back into the play-offs.
Just two goals in his last 16 matches hardly hinted as to what was to follow at Ninian Park, as Chopra marked Dave Jones' 500th match as a manager with a treble which took just 50 minutes.
After an evenly fought opening Cardiff took the lead in the 21st minute when Chopra bent a sumptuous free-kick beyond both Leicester's wall and their goalkeeper Paul Henderson.
As the home began to settle into a rhythm, Leicester were put firmly on the back foot and when Chopra grabbed his side's second, after the break, it came as little surprise.
A fine slide-rule pass from Joe Ledley played in the former Newcastle man and with the simplest of finishes, he dinked over Henderson to put Cardiff into cruise control.
He did not have to wait long to celebrate a hat-trick either, as his strike partner Steven Thompson rolled into his path after the big Scot had rounded Henderson - who had been misguided in rushing out of his goal.
Leicester to their credit fought back rather than capitulate, as first Patrick Kisnorbo and then substitute Elvis Hammond, with a cool right-footed finish, reduced the deficit.
Their comeback though proved to be too little, too late, as Cardiff held on for a well deserved three points that puts their promotion push back on course.