Robin Bist's unbeaten century failed to prevent Rest of India from grabbing the initiative as Umesh Yadav's five-for saw Rajasthan getting bundled out for 253 on Day 1 of the Irani Trophy match here today.
The 24-year-old Bist remained not out on 117 off 187 balls, and the knock was studded with fourteen fours and two sixes.
Bist's century came off 157 balls even as the likes of Vineet Saxena, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Ankit Lamba and Rashmi Parida perished quickly.
Bist found an ally in Rashmi Ranjan Parida until the latter was bowled by Ishant Sharma for 34 after a fourth wicket-stand of 105. The stand took the Ranji Champions to 151 after they were tottering at 46 for three at one stage. Bist then teamed up with Dishant Yagnik and his useful 40 off 68 balls took Rajasthan past the 200 mark.
Walking in to bat with Rajasthan struggling at 46 for three, Bist displayed exquisite array of shots against pacers Yadav and Stuart Binny, and completed his half century in 82 balls.
At tea, Rajasthan were 184 for four with Bist batting on 84 and Dishant Yagnik on 16 not out, but Yadav had different plans up his sleeves in the post-tea session.
In a fiery spell, the India pacer brought Rest of India back into the game, dealing five quick blows to Rajasthan. First, he trapped a well-set Yagnik leg before, breaking a 67-run partnership with Bist for the fifth wicket. Next, he had Deepak Chahar caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha for naught.
In his next over, Yadav had Madhur Khatri caught behind for Saha's third catch of the innings. He then sent back Gajendra Singh and Aniket Choudhary. Earlier in the day, pacers Sharma and Binny dealt deadly blows to Rajasthan, sending back Sexena, Lamba and skipper Kanitkar.
Ishant gave the first breakthrough, having Sexena caught behind in the fifth over of the match. Binny struck in his fifth over, giving Rest their second wicket in the form of Kanitkar, who was trapped leg before for eight off 48 balls.
Binny struck again when he sent Lamba caught by Ajinkya Rahane for 29 off 71 balls. In reply, Rest of India were two without loss with Ajinkya Rahane (2) and Murali Vijay (0) at the crease.