Punjab 391 (Yuvraj 136, Jiwanjot 68, Gurkeerat 57, Fallah 3-78) and 205 for 7 (Gurkeerat 73*, Harbhajan 50, Fallah 5-60) beat Maharashtra 210 (Tripathi 56, Kaul 3-46) and 259 for 3 (Jadhav 109, Tripathi 103, Kaul 4-57, Sandeep 4-74) by three wickets
Gurkeerat Singh batted through a finger injury and his half-century capped Punjab's outstanding comeback to beat Maharashtra by three wickets in Pune. His unbeaten 73 ensured the Punjab seamers' success in the morning translated to a second victory in three matches.
Set a target of 204 in 51 overs, Punjab got home with 25 balls to spare despite left-arm seamer Samad Fallah completing a 13th first-class five-for.
Maharashtra had begun well with Fallah getting rid of Jiwanjot Singh and Amitoze Singh for single-figues, and having Uday Kaul caught at first slip. At 52 for three, Gurkeerat took guard with a heavily-strapped little finger on his left hand, which he had injured while attempting a catch off Rahul Tripathi in the morning. Gurkeerat had been rushed to a hospital and was relieved to see a ruptured tendon instead of a fractured finger.
A Shirkant Mundhe indipper bowled Mandeep Singh and Punjab's captain Harbhajan Singh stepped up at No. 4. Yuvraj Singh had not fielded during the Maharashtra second innings and could not come out until 120 minutes of the chase or the fall of the fifth wicket. Conditions were still good for batting despite the best efforts of Fallah, Mundhe and Anupam Sanklecha and Harbhajan took advantage with a quickfire half-century.
Punjab needed 129 runs to win in 25 overs and Harbhajan went after Fallah, pulling him for a four and hitting him over long-off in the same over. He would strike two further sixes during a 54-ball knock. He targeted Sanklecha cutting and driving and striking him over long-off as well. The fifth-wicket partnership between Harbhajan and Gurkeerat fetched 83 runs
Maharashtra attempted to gain control with Akshay Darekar's left-arm spin and the move almost paid off as Harbhajan's loft to long-off was put down by Kedar Jadhav. Harbhajan was on 41 then and Punjab 140 for 4. He would fall in the next over - the first of the 15 mandatory overs to be bowled in the last hour of play - he had hit a six off Darekar to get Punjab closer to the target.
Yuvraj came in next and slammed Mundhe so hard the ball landed on the hovercraft beyond cover boundary, and drilled a Fallah yorker into the sightscreen. Next ball though, he flicked down Sanklecha's throat at deep square leg. Two balls later, Fallah trapped Gitansh Khera lbw to leave Punjab at a precarious 182 for 7.
Gurkeerat was saddled with the tail with 22 runs left for victory, but he calmly rotated strike before Siddharth Kaul finished the game with back-to-back fours off Sanklecha in the 11th mandatory over.
The result was, however, set up by the Punjab seamers earlier in the day. Maharashtra began at 259 for 3 with Jadhav on 109, but Amitoze drew an outside edge of first ball Jadhav faced in the morning and was caught by the wicketkeeper Khera. Had Gurkeerat pouched the nick off Tripathi in the next over, Punjab would have ended up chasing a relatively smaller target. Tripathi, who was on 63 then, made Punjab pay by registering his maiden first-class hundred.
Tripathi and Ankit Bawne, who resumed batting after retiring hurt on the third day, were milking the Punjab bowlers and Maharashtra were well on course to draw the game and earn a point. But Bawne was caught behind off a slash against Kaul soon after completing his half-century. Sandeep Sharma used the opening and struck twice in the penultimate over before lunch. He strangled Tripathi down the leg side and had the out-of-form Rohit Motwani out caught in the last ball before the break.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo