Cape Town - The Dolphins would have been dead and buried without Kevin Pietersen against the Highveld Lions in Wednesday night's Ram Slam T20 Challenge clash in Durban.
The former England captain was in sublime form, carding 115* in a total of 174.
It would prove to be enough for the hosts, and Pietersen said after the match that it had been an emotional innings given that he is playing for his birth province.
"It is a special moment," said Pietersen.
"Doing it for the Dolphins, back at Kingsmead – where it all started – it is special.
"I’ll probably think about it tomorrow and it will probably make me a little bit happy about the situation; it’s nice to see the Dolphins reflected on my numbers somewhere as well."
Losing the toss and being sent in to bat first, the Dolphins innings started poorly with the early loss of Cameron Delport before the loss of captain Morné van Wyk, David Miller and Cody Chetty further hampered their progress.
A steady partnership between Pietersen and Khaya Zondo rebuilt the innings before Pietersen and Keshav Maharaj combined for an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 87 off just 5.5 overs.
Pietersen’s innings, that included five fours and no fewer than ten sixes, was one to behold, especially the manner at which he accelerated at the end of the innings.
"It’s all about playing the situation," explained Pietersen.
"In the first six overs, with the fielding restrictions, if there was something in my slot I knew I needed to go at it and then when the spinners came on then I needed to calm down.
"I knocked it around a bit and then if it’s up there then it’s in the car park from over fourteen."