Hanuma Vihari, on Friday, scripted history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick of hundreds in the Irani Cup, helping Rest of India rally and set Vidarbha a tricky 280-run target in Nagpur.
Enjoying a good run of form, the 25-year-old Vihari created the record with a single down the ground on the fourth day, his second century of the match and third straight in Irani Cup.
The India player had scored 183 for Rest of India during last year's Irani Cup match against Vidarbha, who recently retained the Ranji Trophy with another exemplary showing.
Besides Vihari's 180, India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane made 87 and Shreyas Iyer raced to a 52-ball 61, helping Rest of India to declare their second innings at 374 for three, a day after conceding a big first-innings lead.
Needing 280 for an outright win, Ranji champions Vidarbha were 37 for one at close of play, still 243 runs shy of the target with nine wickets in hand.
While Akshay Karnewar's gutsy century on the third day powered Vidarbha to a 95-run first-innings lead, Rest of India rode on a third-wicket partnership of 229 runs between Vihari and Rahane to grab the initiative on the penultimate day.
Starting from an overnight score of 102 for two, Vihari and Rahane added 110 in the morning, and then put together a further 63 before Rahane was dismissed. By that time, Vidarbha had fallen behind.
Thereafter, Iyer took the attack to Vidarbha as Rest of India looked for quick runs before the declaration. Iyer smashed a six and a four off left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate, and then did the same to paceman Rajneesh Gurbani in the next over.
When left-arm spinner Karnewar came into the attack, Iyer whacked him for another 10 runs to reach his half-century in just 45 balls. Vihari too used the long handle to good effect after reaching his 150.
Vihari struck 19 fours and four sixes during his 300-ball knock, while Iyer smashed five boundaries and four sixes. During his stay in the middle, senior pro Rahane found the fence six times and cleared it once.
Markande's fifer hand India 'A' innings victory over England Lions
Young leg-spinner Mayank Markande scalped five wickets to steer India 'A' to a series-clinching innings and 68-run win over England Lions in the second and final unofficial Test, in Mysuru, on Friday.
Markande (5 for 31) spun a web around the visitors to bowl them out for 180 in the second innings on the third day of the four-day match. England were following on.
Resuming at 24 for no loss and faced with the daunting task of handling the Indian spinners on a turning wicket, the Lions' batsmen came a cropper with only Ben Duckett (50) and Lewis Gregory (44) showing some fight.
Besides Markande, Jalaj Saxena (2/40) claimed two wickets.
The 21-year old Markande, who performed creditably for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League last year, troubled most of the England batsmen with his guile.
The talented Ollie Pope was Markande's first victim, trapped leg-before.
But opener Duckett mixed caution with aggression in an effort to defy the India 'A'bowlers. He hit four boundaries and two sixes in his half-century and was involved in a 40-run partnership with fellow opener Max Holden (7).
Off-spinner Saxena struck the first blow for the hosts, dismissing Holden leg-before wicket. He also dismissed Duckett in the same manner.
Markande, who plays for Punjab in domestic cricket, took over and had the Lions batsmen in a spin, getting a lot of turn on a wearing wicket.
He removed Steve Mullaney, Dominic Bess and Zak Chappell in quick succession as the Lions capitulated.
Running out of partners, Gregory went on the offensive and hit six fours and a six during his 49-ball knock before becoming the last wicket to fall, handing India 'A' victory with a day to spare.
Pace bowlers Varun Aaron (1/39), Navdeep Saini (1/25) and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (1/25) picked up a wicket each.
Earlier, the Rahul Dravid-coached India 'A' team had enforced the follow-on after dismissing the visitors for 144 in the first innings in reply to the hosts' 392 all out.
Abhimanyu Easwaran, who slammed 117 in India's score, was named man of the match for his effort.
India 'A' 392 all out in 144.4 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 117, K L Rahul 81, Priyank Panchal 50; Zak Chappell 4/60, Danny Briggs 3/71) beat England Lions 144 & 180 all out in 53.3 overs (Ben Duckett 50, Lewis Gregory 44; Mayank Markande 5/31).