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Yardy disappointed by exit

England Lions
Michael Yardy

Michael Yardy's 169 was not enough to secure the victory

England Lions captain Michael Yardy reflected on their Duleep Trophy elimination and insisted his side were good enough to win the competition.

The Lions failed in their bid to become the first overseas victors in India’s premier domestic tournament after they lost to West Zone by nine wickets in Vadodara.

Yardy’s side needed to avoid defeat to advance to the final and the tourists entered the crucial final day 125 runs behind with nine wickets in tact.

Realistically they were required to bat the majority of the day’s allotted 90 overs to save the game, but resistance lasted only 70 and an overall run-rate of two an over left tournament favourites West Zone with a paltry victory target of 27.

“I really thought we could have won the competition,” Yardy said. “They were not hugely better than us - they were just a bit more canny perhaps. Disappointing though that is, we will learn from this game.

“If you ask any of the guys - whether it be good times or bad times they’re looking back on - they have learnt about themselves and playing in these conditions.

Michael Yardy

Yardy liked playing in India's Duleep Trophy © Getty Images

“The Duleep Trophy has been really a good competition to play in; it is top quality and we’ve played against guys who know what they’re doing in these conditions.”

England’s second string held the early advantage but collapsed spectacularly when Yardy was dismissed for 169 in the first innings - it triggered the final six wickets which fell for 33 runs and restricted the score to 355 all out.

“It was nice to make a contribution but unfortunately it wasn’t in winning circumstances,” Yardy said.

“Another 50 runs might have made the difference as it would have also taken a little bit of time out of the game and made it a bit more tricky for them.

“But I cannot credit the guys enough - especially the seamers who steamed in - for the way they kept going.”

West Zone off-spinner Yusuf Pathan, brother of India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, did the majority of the damage with five wickets while seamer Siddharth Trivedi finished with four second-innings victims.

“The plan was to be positive and take any opportunity to score,” Yardy added.

“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.”

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