Jaipur: Riding on superb centuries by Vineet Saxena (127) and Puneet Yadav (108), defending champions Rajasthan reached 369 for seven against Saurashtra on the opening day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Division Group A match on Tuesday.
Saurashtra`s decision to put the hosts in to bat first paid rich dividend as Rajasthan lost opener Aakash Chopra (6), skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar (27), in-form Robin Bisht (22) and Rashmi Ranjan Parida (3) cheaply to find themselves reeling at 103 for 4 at one stage.
But opener Saxena along with Yadav steadied the boat and went on to put up 215-run stand together for the fifth wicket to bail their team out of trouble.
Saxena, who had missed out on three-figure mark this season despite scoring three half-centuries, found a reliable partner in Yadav, who was included in the squad for this match.
But just when things seemed to running out of Saurashtra`s hands, Siddharth Trivedi (4/69) gave his side a much-needed breakthrough by getting rid of Yadav for a well-made 108 off 160 balls, including 15 hits to the fence.
Trivedi once again struck to see off Saxena for 232-ball 127, including 15 boundaries.
He then added his third victim of the last session to his kitty in the form of Dishant Yagnik (34) to help Saurashtra get back to the track.
Gajendra Singh (4) and Rituraj Singh (7) were at the crease when stumps were drawn at the end of day one.
Besides, Trivedi`s four-wicket haul, Jaidev Unadkat chipped in with two for 60 and Sandeep Maniar took one for 60.
Heaping praise on Saurashtra bowlers, Saxena said, "Unadkat was too good extracting good movement from favourable conditions and Trivedi also bowled in right areas and was rewarded in the last session."
Rajasthan 1st innings: 369 for seven (Vineet Saxena 127, Puneet Yadav 108; Siddharth Trivedi 4/69).