Kerala were 191 runs away from an outright win against Uttar Pradesh, having made 32 for one in their second innings in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'A' league match at Palakkad on Saturday.
At close on the third day, C M Deepak was batting on 11 and Vipin Lal on one, after opener Sujith Somasundar was bowled by Gyanender Pandey for 20.
Left arm spinner Sreekumar Nair (3/70) and medium pacer Prashanth Chandran (3/45) combined well to dismiss UP in their second knock for 255.
Earlier, the hosts had clinched a 33-run first innings lead, scoring 247.
With the pitch assisting the spinners, Kerala could have a tough time in negotiating Nikhil Chopra and Aman Verma in their run chase.
Earlier, resuming at 48 for no loss, UP received an early jolt losing opener Jyoti Yadav (19). Suresh Raina, who joined overnight Rohit Prakash, batted fluently, adding 80 runs for the second wicket before Raina (39) edged Prashant Chandran to slip fielder Sunil Oasis.
Rahat Elahi joined Rohit and they took the score past 150 and at lunch UP were 154/2. However, Sreekumar struck soon after, having Rohit leg before wicket for 79 (174 b, 8x4).
Left arm spinner Suresh Kumar dealt a major blow by dismissing Rizwan Shamshad (9) and Pandey (0) in one over to put the visitors in a spot. Thereafter, wickets fell regularly, with Sreekumar and Prashant Chandran doing the damage. Elahi remained unbeaten on 74 (8x4).
UP Ist innings: 214
Kerala Ist innings: 247
UP 2nd innings:
R Prakash lbw b Nair 79
Jyoti Yadav c Hemanth b A'padmanabhan 19
S Raina c Oasis b Prashanth 39
R Elahi not out 74
R Shamshad c Sujith b Sureshkumar 9
G Pandey c Vipin Lal b Sureshkumar 0
P Malvia c Hemanth b Nair 4
N Chopra c Deepak b Prashanth 1
Ratnesh Misra c Deepak b Prashanth 1
A W Zaidi c Oasis b Nair 7
Aman Verma run out 4
Extras (b-6, lb-5, nb-7) 18
Total (all out in 96.3 overs) 255
Fall of wickets: 1/53, 2/133, 3/181, 4/212, 5/212, 6/222, 7/229, 8/233, 9/246.
Bowling: Prashanth Chandran 15-3-45-3; Sony Cheruvathur 1-0-6-0; Sreekumar Nair 39.3-15-70-3; Suresh Kumar 15-4-43-2; Ananthapadmanabhan 21-2-68-1; Sunil Oasis 5-0-12-0.
Kerala 2nd innings:
C M Deepak not out 11
S Somasundar b Pandey 20
Vipin Lal not out 1
Total (for 1 wkt, 10 overs) 32
Fall of wicket: 1/29.
Bowling: Zaidi 3-0-10-0; Ratnesh Misra 1-0-4-0; Nikhil Chopra 4-3-11-0; Gyanendra Pandey 2-0-7-1.