Chirag Gandhi's brilliant unbeaten century went in vain as Gujarat went down to India 'B' by seven runs in a thrilling last-over finish, in the Deodhar Trophy One-Day tournament in Kanpur, on Tuesday.
Put into bat, India 'B' scored 280 for eight with captain Unmukt Chand top scoring with a fluent innings of 63, while Suryakumar Yadav and Stuart Binny made useful contributions as they scored 47 and 41 respectively.
In reply, Gujarat fell short by seven runs, getting bundled out for 273 in 49.3 overs, despite Gandhi's fine innings of 100 not out.
India 'B' advanced to the final courtesy of their second straight victory. They had beaten India 'A' in their first league match by five wickets.
Earlier, India 'B' lost opener Mayank Agarwal for a duck followed by the early dismissal of Shreyas Iyer (17) early but Chand steadied the innings with a fine innings of 63 from 70 balls, which included eight hits to the fence.
Yadav and Binny put on an 81-run stand for the sixth wicket to enable India 'B' score freely in the final overs and set a challenging total for their opponents.
For Gujarat, Mehul Patel was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 69.
Chasing 281 for victory, Gujarat lost their top order cheaply and were reeling at 47 for three, before skipper Manpreet Juneja (50) and Rujul Bhatt (45) brought their team back into the contest.
The duo shared a 78-run partnership for the fourth wicket but both the batsmen fell in quick succession as Gujarat found themselves in trouble again, on 148 for five.
But Gandhi came to the team's rescue and almost single-handedly bailed the team out of trouble, even as wickets kept falling at the other end.
Ultimately, Gandhi's efforts went in vain as he was left stranded at 100 off just 77 balls, in which he hit 12 boundaries and three sixes. Needing 15 to get from the last over, Gandhi smashed part-time off-spinner Yadav for a six over midwicket followed by a single to deep midwicket which brought up his century.
Last man Hardik Patel tried to steal another single from the third ball to bring back Gandhi on strike, however, Iyer's direct hit caught him short and ended Gujarat's innings.
Dhawal Kulkarni was the best bowler for India 'B' as he registered economical figures of two for 21 in 10 overs. Karn Sharma (2/56) and Binny (2/60) took two wickets each for India 'B'.
Gujarat will take on India 'A' in the final league match on Wednesday with the winners taking on India 'B' in Friday's final
India 'B': 280/8 in 50 overs (Unmukt Chand 63, Suryakumar Yadav 47, Stuart Binny 41; Mehul Patel 3/69).
Gujarat: 273 all out in 49.3 overs (Chirag Gandhi 100 not out, Manpreet Juneja 50; Dhawal Kulkarni 2/21).