Skipper Manish Pandey's valiant century was in vain as India ‘A’ lost to Australia ‘A’ by one run in a high-scoring Quadrangular cricket series thriller in Mackay, Australia, on Tuesday.
The defeat will not do any harm to the Rahul Dravid-coached side as it had already qualified for the final.
The victory ensured Australia ‘A’ also qualified for the title clash ahead of South Africa ‘A’.
Australia ‘A’ finished on top of the table while India ‘A’ was second after the round-robin matches.
Put in to bat, Australia made a commanding 322 for six, riding on twin centuries from Kurtis Patterson (115) and Nic Maddinson (118).
Varun Aaron was the most expensive Indian bowler, hammered for 65 in seven overs.
In reply, India ‘A’ finished on 321 for 8 in 50 overs despite Pandey's 91-ball 110 and an attractive 74-ball 87 from Sanju Samson.
India ‘A’ required nine runs off the final over but got six from the first four deliveries.
With only three runs required from two balls, Samson was caught by Marcus Stoinis off his former Rajasthan Royals colleague Kane Richardson's delivery.
Three were required off the final delivery, but Richardson bowled to a perfect plan and Jayant Yadav could score just one as Shardul Thakur was run-out trying to go for a second run which would have tied the match.
Earlier, a 157-run stand for the fifth-wicket between Pandey and Samson raised visions of another India ‘A’ victory.
Pandey was as fluent as he was for the better part of the tournament in registering his second century.
His innings had 10 fours and three sixes -- two off leg-spinner Cameron Boyce and one off pacer Richardson.
It was the skipper's dismissal in the 47th over that turned things as pacer Daniel Worral had him caught behind.
The momentum of the innings was lost at that stage as Samson, who also hit six boundaries and two sixes, couldn't take the team past finishing line.
Australia A: 322-6 in 50 overs (Kurtis Patterson 115, Nic Maddinson 118; Shardul Thakur 2-50, Varun Aaron 1-65).
India A: 321-8 in 50 overs (Manish Pandey 110, Sanju Samson 87, Mandeep Singh 56).