Dhawal Kulkarni claimed five wickets as Mumbai asserted their supremacy by thrashing Uttar Pradesh by a huge 243-run margin and clinching the Ranji Trophy cricket title for a record 38th time in Hyderabad on Friday.
Needing an improbable 525 to win the match on the last day, Uttar Pradesh folded up for 281 in 71.5 overs although the last wicket pair of Amir Khan (43) and Praveen Gupta (25) only delayed the inevitable by stitching a 55-run partnership.
The young Kulkarni was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers with five for 76 while spinner Ramesh Powar chipped in with three wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.
Kulkarni removed Gupta to take the last wicket as the tired-looking UP batsman lazily drove an outside off-stump delivery to first slip where substitute S Kukreja grabbed it, triggering scenes of celebrations in the Mumbai dressing room.
Mumbai had scored 402 and extended their 177-run first innings score with a big second-innings score of 367.
Mumbai dominated the first session by reducing UP to 55-4, but skipper Mohamad Kaif (72) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (80) added 65 runs to lend some stability to the UP innings at the rate of 3.84 runs.
With another 402 required to win in two sessions, Khan and Gupta frustrated Mumbai bowlers as they went on run-spree for 10.2 overs, scoring in almost all the areas of the park.
As bowlers got tired, captain Wasim Jaffer brought Sachin Tendulkar to do the trick but in vain as UP took tea break at 273 for 9.
Uttar Pradesh batsmen scored an admirable 150 runs in the second session with the last pair accumulating 47 runs in less than 10 overs even as Amir Khan was dropped in the 71st over off a Tendulkar delivery.
Kulkarni started the rot as he sent opener Shivkant Shukla back to pavilion in the sixth over with just 11 runs under his belt.
Shukla, who played the most impostant role in UP securing the final berth, guided the ball straight to be caught by Rohit Sharma at gully.
Kulkarni then got Suresh Raina, who went for a cut and edged to Sachin Tendulkar in the slips. Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar scalped the other two wickets of Tanmay Srivastava and Parvinder Singh in the morning session.
Kulkarni later took the wickets of Bhuvaneshvar Kumar and R P Singh.
Bhuvneshwar had picked five wickets in first innings while also impressing with the bat for UP.
Jaffer, who lifted the winners' trophy said "I thought UP bowled really well in the first session but Rohit and Nayar brought us back to get to 400."
As UP finished runners-up for the second successive year, Kaif admitted the fielding lapses from his side which included a reprieved to Rohit Sharma, who went on to post a century for Mumbai.
"We fielded first to get some early wickets and we weren't good with the fielding. Shukla batted well for us," he said.