West Zone rode on a scintillating double century from Yusuf Pathan to successfully chase down a mammoth 536-run target and clinch the Duleep Trophy in Hyderabad on Saturday.
The defending champions beat South Zone by three wickets on the fifth day of the final and, in the process, set a world record in first class cricket.
Yusuf's phenomenal unbeaten 210, his maiden first class double century, steered West to 541 for 7 and helped them lift the crown for the 16th time.
The victory marked the highest successful run chase in the history of first class cricket although the total -- 541 for seven -- is not the highest fourth innings total.
Teams have scored more runs in their fourth innings in the past but they never resulted in a victory.
England had scored 654 for five while chasing 696 to win against South Africa in Durban way back in 1938-39. The match was drawn after 10 days.
Maharashtra had scored 604 in their second innings while chasing an impossible 959 to win against the then Bombay in 1948-49 in Poona, now Pune.
Everything depended on Yusuf when West resumed at 379 for six and he did not disappoint his team and fans as he stood their like a rock till the job was done.
Resuming at the individual score of 84 with overnight partner Pinal Shah, Yusuf cashed in on three dropped chances and made the South Zone bowlers pay heavily.
Soon after completing his century he was dropped by C Ganapthy off his own bowling. He was on 102 then. Later, K B Pawan grassed a sitter off Aushik Sriniwas when the Baroda marauder was on 125.
Ganapthy produced another chance, when Yusuf was on 170, but this time the offender was Muralidharen Gautam.
Yusuf's 210 came at an incredible strike rate of 110.52, consuming 190 balls. His knock was studded with 19 fours and 10 sixes.
Shah (16) supported Yusuf well although he did not contribute much runs as he negotiated 116 balls, giving ample time to his explosive partner to play his strokes.
By the time Shah was trapped by Alfred Absolem, the pair had put up 105 runs for the seventh wicket, closing the gap with the mammoth target.
Ramesh Powar stepped in and proved another useful ally for Yusuf as he hit a brisk unbeaten 18, which eased the pressure on the senior Pathan.
Yusuf reached his double hundred in style, hitting Rohan Prem for successive sixes and finished off the match in similar fashion, hitting a long on six off S Aravind.Scorecard:
South Zone (1st innings): 400
West Zone (1st innings): 251
South Zone (2nd innings): 386/9 decl
West Zone (2nd innings):C Pathak b Absolem 130
H Khadiwale c Gautam b Anirudha 45
W Jaffer lbw Ganapathy 66
B Thaker c Gautam b Aravind 0
Y Pathan not out 210
R Jadeja b Aushik Srinivas 1
I Pathan b Absolem 42
P Shah c & b Prem 16
R Powar not out 18
Extras: (b 2, lb 1, w 4, nb 6) 13
Total: (for 7 wickets; 136.3 overs) 541
Did not bat: A Salvi, D Kulkarni
Fall of wickets: 1-117, 2-224, 3-239, 4-263, 5-294, 6-378, 7-483.
Bowling: C Ganapathy 33-7-96-1 (1nb, 1w); A Absolem 23-2-79-2 (1nb); S Aravind 24.3-3-99-1 (1nb, 1w); A Srinivas 37-4-157-1 (2nb, 2w); S Anirudha 3-0-14-1; P Prem 13-1-81-1; A Karthik 3-0-12-0.