Chasing 423 for victory, Uttar Pradesh came close to knocking off the winning runs on Friday after Parvinder Singh hit a century and Piyush Chawla (unbeaten 82) fought till the end to take visitors beyond the finish line.
Finishing at 391 for 7, UP denied Maharashtra their first win of the season, but could not prevent the hosts from taking three points for their first innings lead.
Maharashtra got breakthroughs at regular intervals but paid the price for dropped catches and fielding lapses.
Going into the final day, the hosts held the upper hand with a big total at their disposal. Commencing at 41 without loss, UP played to win and despite losing wickets, threatened to pull off a winning act.
Parvinder was once again UP’s mainstay. Treading with caution, he launched the big hits whenever opportunity presented itself. His 258-min stay at the crease not only stabilised the side after skipper Mohammed Kaif’s (20) exit after lunch, it also laid the foundation for the run chase.
Making the most of the two lives, the middle-order bat stitched a 98-run stand with Chawla. The chase gathered momentum after tea with the duo dealing in boundaries.
Chawla heaved Kiran Adhav over long off for a huge six and deftly tapped the ball past first slip several times for boundaries. The leggie, who was put down by Ganesh Gaikwad, also played the sweep to perfection.
Adhav broke the partnership when he breached Parvinder’s defence with one that turned sharply. Chawla kept pushing for a win but didn’t find support from the other end. It was an improved performance from Maharashtra and the three points will help them prevent relegation from the Super League. Comprising a bunch of youngsters (the average age is 21), Maharashtra were undone by inexperience.