It was only the intense love for the game and the immense joy that playing the sport gave which spurred cricketers like Rhodes, Nayudu and Close to remain fit and take on the stress and strain of playing three-day matches with hardly a break.
Kerala lost wickets in a heap after being comfortably placed at 305/4.
Aanjaneya Suryavashi top-scored with a fine 135 for UP, while his opening partner Siddharth Yadav made 99. The two added 225.
UP's second innings got off to a steady start with openers Siddharth Yadav and Aanjaneya Suryavanshi putting 135 runs on board without loss of wickets at stumps.
Barring opener Aanjaneya Suryavanshi (72) and Prince Yadav (61), the rest of the UP battters failed to get going.
Kerala, who had gained the first innings lead in their drawn game against Goa, have 10 points from two matches.
Himachal were 84/4 in their second innings and trail by 117 runs after day 2.
Himachal, who chose to bat, were bundled out for 135. Kerala were 134/4 in their reply at stumps.
The last-wicket pair of wicketkeeper Nikhil T (36 not out) and Fanoos (26) put on 59 as Kerala overhauled Goa's total of 454.