Unheralded Paul Valthaty, who scored a blistering unbeaten 120 to steer Kings XI Punjab to victory over defending champions Chennai Super Kings, said his knock is a "dream come true" and has put his career back on track.
"To be honest, it was a belter of a track. It is a dream come true to score a century. Everything was perfect today," man-of-the-match Valthaty said at the presentation ceremony, after Kings XI defeated Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in Mohali.
The 27-year-old Valthaty said he prepared hard for the Indian Premier League over the last few months and is happy his efforts are paying dividends.
"I had prepared well for the IPL and it paid off today. I will never forget that moment [scoring the century]. It meant a lot to me" he said.
Valthaty also thanked the team mates and owners for supporting him.
"I made it to the India 'A' squad in 2009 but could not play because of an eye injury. The team has supported me right through. I am happy that I could justify the faith reposed on me."
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team did well to recover from a poor start and post a competitive total, but the bowling could have been "a little smarter".
"We have to learn the lessons from this game. We had a competitive total but they batted very well. Valthaty was brilliant and he really took the game away from us," Dhoni said.
He said dropping a few catches also proved quite costly.
"We dropped a few catches which hurt us. Our bowling could have been better. But we have to learn and be prepared for the next game," Dhoni added.
A beaming Kings XI captain Adam Gilchrist heaped praise on Valthaty, saying it was an amazing innings.
"We had a lot of faith in him and he delivered today. It was an amazing knock," Gilchrist said.
"It was a good batting track. The bowlers just could not err in line and length. For us, it was a terrific all-round display. We needed such a win."