A breathtaking maiden Indian Premier League century from Kevin Pietersen inspired Delhi Daredevils to a five-wicket victory over Deccan Chargers on Thursday.
The England right-hander delighted the home crowd with a sublime 64-ball innings of 103 not out, sealing both the victory and his own personal milestone with a ninth six at the start of the final over.
The win puts Delhi back on top of the IPL table, while Deccan are still searching for their first points after four successive defeats.
Pietersen, who was dropped on 6, 68 and 94 and also ran out team-mate Ross Taylor, made amends as Delhi expertly chased down their 158-run target with five balls to spare.
Deccan's 157-8 first-innings total always looked below-par against Delhi's star-studded batting line-up, but notable contributions from Parthiv Patel (45) and Shikhar Dhawan (44) at least gave the visitors hope.
Morne Morkel (3-23) and Shahbaz Nadeem (3-16) shared six wickets for Delhi.
The Daredevils stuttered early in reply as Indian openers Naman Ohja (1) and Virender Sehwag (7) both fell inside the opening four overs.
Pietersen took the fight back to Deccan, but was fortunate not to become Dale Steyn's second victim when Bharat Chipli grassed a regulation catch at midwicket.
Mahela Jayawadene was caught by Sri Lankan compatriot Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling of Dan Christian to keep Deccan on top and they became strong favourites for a first win when Pietersen sold Taylor short and Dhawan's direct hit left the New Zealander stranded.
But from there on Pietersen took complete control, launching JP Duminy for three successive sixes, only to present the bowler with a sharp return catch which he failed to take next ball.
The England star continued to feast on the slower bowlers, and, ably supported by Yogesh Nagar (23no), he saw Delhi home in style with a six which brought up his maiden Twenty20 hundred.
"This is absolutely amazing, this is what dreams are made of," Pietersen said afterwards. "You come here as an England player and it's very, very intimidating but to come here and have all these fans cheering for you is very special.
"That was my first Twenty20 100 so it will be pretty hard to beat."