England Lions failed in their attempt to make the Duleep Trophy final after a nine-wicket defeat against West Zone in Vadodara.
The Lions needed to avoid defeat to make it through to the final of India's premier domestic competition, but could not hold out on the fourth day of the match.
Michael Yardy's side were trailing by 125 runs at the start of the day with nine wickets intact and needing to bat out most of the day to secure a draw.
England Lions hung around for 70 of the scheduled 90 overs for the day, but a painfully slow run rate meant that West Zone only had to knock off 27 runs to seal victory.
Ed Joyce top scored for England Lions with 66 but only Adil Rashid could offer any sort of assistance as he made 39 as one of only two other men to reach double figures.
The Lions were eventually bowled out for 165 with Yusuf Pathan doing most of the damage by taking 5-35, while Siddharth Trivedi took 4-28.
"We knew it was going to be quite a difficult day today," said Yardy.
"On a fourth-day pitch in India you have to bat very well to get out of that kind of situation.
"But we have done ourselves no harm out here, it's disappointing not to be in the final but we put ourselves into contention by coming back from a tricky situation to win the first game."
With skipper Yardy, who scored 169 in the first innings, being dismissed at the end of the third day England Lions needed the other batsmen to stand up and be counted.
Middlesex's one-day international Joyce did his bit with a gritty 66, but with little support he could not carry the Lions through to the close.
Off-spinner Pathan, brother of India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, and seamer Trivedi took nine wickets between them as the fourth-day wicket continued to deteriorate.
Rashid's late rally of 39 at least took the Lions into the lead, but West Zone were left with the simple task of knocking off 27 runs.
The state of the pitch meant that it took them 14.2 overs to complete their task, whilst also losing the wicket of teenager Ajinkya Rahane to Graham Onions.
"The plan was to be positive and take any opportunity to score," said Yardy. "It was about taking controlled risks to get the scoreboard moving.
"The mentality was to keep scoring, to get further out of range, rather than just stay in but credit to the opposition, they bowled well and made it difficult."
West Zone will now face North Zone in the five-day final at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, starting next Tuesday.