Subramanium Badrinath's brilliant unbeaten 175 (605 minutes, 381 balls, 20x4) went in vain as minnows Rajasthan beat Tamil Nadu by virtue of the first innings lead of 167 runs and entered the final of the Ranji Trophy Super League.
In the process they created history, becoming the first team promoted from the Plate Group to enter the final in the elite category.
Rajasthan will now play Baroda in the January 11-15 final at Vadodara.
After piling a mammoth 552 for seven, Rajasthan's bowlers, led by leggie Vivek Yadav (4/87), dismissed Tamil Nadu for 385 in the first innings, at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur on Thursday.
And, as if to add insult to injury, Rajasthan captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar asked the visitors to follow-on and introduced Rashmi Ranjan Parida into the attack.
Rajasthan are in the final for the first time in 36 years, having last played the title round way back in the 1973-74 season.
Badrinath, whose epic vigil of 10 hours and five minutes will go down as one of the finest domestic innings, ran out of partners as none of the other Tamil Nadu batsmen could even score 50.
It was a disciplined performance by the hosts, who played with a plan and executed it perfectly.
Starting the day at 190 for three, Badrinath and K Vasudevdas (38) took the score 222 before the latter played on to a Pankaj Singh delivery.
Badrinath continued in his calm and composed manner and a push past gully brought up his 25th century in first-class cricket.
With Rajagopal Sathish (27, 69 balls, 5x4) for company Badrinath put on 61 for the fifth wicket, before a poor shot by Sathish saw him caught at short cover by Yadav off Mathur's bowling.
Chandrasekhar Ganapathy (4) played a pull-shot and holed out in the deep to Ashok Menaria off Mathur.
All this while Badrinath was fighting a grim battle to take team's total to 465 which would have taken them past the run-rate of Tamil Nadu.
However, leggie Yadav struck two telling blows to dash Tamil Nadu's hopes of going for an impressive victory.
First he trapped Suresh Kumar (20) leg-before, the ball hitting the batsman's toe. Then it was L Balaji (19, 76 minutes) who stodgily defended before going for a slog sweep and was caught plumb off Yadav.
R Suthesh and Sunil Sam didn't trouble much. In the end it was Badrinath who emerged as the tragic hero.
Rajasthan (1st innings): 552/7 decl (A Chopra 139, H Kanitkar 100 not out, A Menaria 106).
Tamil Nadu (1st innings): 385 (S Badrinath 175 not out, V Yadav 4/87, P Singh 2/112, S Mathur 2/84).
Tamil Nadu (2nd innings): 2/0 (one over)
Rajasthan won on the first innings lead.