New Delhi:West Zone created a world record in first class cricket by successfully chasing down a mammoth 536-run target to clinch the Duleep Trophy with a dramatic three-wicket victory, riding on Yusuf Pathan's scintillating double century.
Yusuf's phenomenal unbeaten 210, his maiden first class double century, steered West Zone to a sensational win as they scored 541 for seven to lift the Duleep Trophy for the 16th time on an eventful final day's play.
The win 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 along with other overnight partner Pinal Shah, Yusuf cashed in on the three dropped chance and made South Zone bowlers pay heavily.
Soon after completing his century he was dropped by C Ganapthy off his own bowling when the batsman was on 102 and then KB Pawan grassed a sitter off Aushik Sriniwas when the Baroda marauder was on 125.
Ganapthy produced another chance when Yusuf was on 170 and this time the offender was Muralidharen Gautam. Yusuf's 210 came at an incredible strike rate of 110.52, after consuming 190 balls. His knock was bejewelled 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, they had put up 105 runs for the seventh wicket, closing in 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.