Dan Evans helped Great Britain complete their biggest Davis Cup comeback for 83 years and maintain their hopes of qualifying for the World Group in 2014 after blitzing Russia's Evgeny Donskoy in three sets in Coventry
James Ward's earlier victory over Dmitry Tursunov set up a deciding rubber, and Evans, ranked 325 in the world, took full advantage of the reprieve to win 6-4 6-4 6-1 to send Britain through to September's World Group Play Offs, where they'll be boosted by the return of world No.2 Andy Murray.
With Tursunov and Donskoy having both won Friday's singles matches, the victory marks the first time Britain have recovered from 2-0 down since 1930 and hands them a realistic chance of reaching the World Group next year for the first time since 2008.
Ward's stunning five-set win over Tursunov helped set up a nerve jangling fifth rubber, leaving 22 year old Evans to face world No.80 Donskoy.
Both had endured contrast results in their five set encounters on Friday and had differing previous Davis Cup experience, with the Brit having won twice against Slovakia last February including in the fifth deciding rubber, while his Russian counterpart was making his debut in the format.
Despite being ranked outside the top 300, Evans had claimed after defeat to Tursunov that his irregular training regime prevented him breaking into the higher echelons of the rankings.
But he showed in the early stages that a greater willingness to apply himself could translate into some impressive tennis, and he had Donskoy, who had taken a set off Murray in Indian Wells, double break-point down in game seven, a position he converted for a 4-3 lead.
And he held it throughout as he served out the first set to love to take one step towards to completing a remarkable British turnaround.
Donskoy, whose comeback from two sets and a break down against Ward on Friday suggested a one set deficit would be far from beyond him, was seeing the ball well at the start of the second set but it said much about Evans that he was keeping with the Moscow-born player, forcing four break points in game three.
Three successive forehand errors almost saw Donskoy let off the hook, but the Russian's long backhand gave Evans the initiative in the second set.
However, Evans' strong advantage was quickly erased as Donskoy produced a delicious down the line forehand winner to bring up two break points, before the Brit hit long as the set was levelled at 3-3.
The Futures and Challengers regular saved two break points in the next service game to prevent the set from slipping away, as Donskoy's radar went slightly askew. Evans then produced the perfect repost, breaking after a scintillating forehand return as he served for a two set lead.
Having clawed back the momentum, Evans produced the killer instinct akin to a player far beyond his years, with Donskoy's long forehand helping to cement Britain's healthy position.
It was a position made stronger as Evans produced another cracking forehand to break Donskoy once again at the start of the third. A second break followed as Evans took his fourth break point chance of the third game.
Donskoy had recovered against all the odds against Ward two days previous, but despite denying Evans a triple break, looked unlikely to repeat that performance and although he saved one match point with a stinging serve, a forehand into the tramlines capped the most remarkable of comebacks sparked scenes of jubliation among the British team.
Britain will discover their fate in the World Group play offs in Wendesday's draw, and on the evidence of the win against Russia, captain Leon Smith has a selection headache as GB look to end a five-year absence from the Davis Cup top table.