Mukesh Sharma struck a fine century (101) to prop up Himachal Pradesh to a modest 280 all out on the first day of their four-day Ranji Super League Group A tie against Rajasthan in Dharamsala on Tuesday.
Coming in at 32 for one, after opener M Gupta was out cheaply for 19, Sharma steadied Himachal innings with the other opener H Dogra (71) with a 127-run stand for the second wicket.
After, Dogra was out in the 48th over at 159 for two, Sharma's other Himachal team-mates fell like nine pins and the hosts were 190 for seven in the 61st over from a strong 176 for three.
Sharma, however, held one end intact and carried the score past 250 with support from V Bhatia and A Thakur and was the ninth batsman out after hitting 13 fours in his just over five-hour vigil at the crease.
For Rajasthan, S Mathur and M Aslam took three wickets apiece giving away 79 and 64 runs respectively.
In reply, the visitors were five for no loss at the draw of stumps. V Saxena was batting on five and S Vijay was giving him company without opening his account.
Himachal Pradesh (1st innings):
M Gupta c Doru b Mathur 19
H Dogra c & b Shamsher 71
M Sharma c Jhalani b Shamsher 101
S Sharma b Gehlot 13
P Dogra b Gehlot 0
M Bisla lbw b Aslam 6
A Mannu c Jhalani b Mathur 1
S Singh lbw b Mathur 4
V Bhatia lbw b Aslam 13
A Thakur not out 22
V Malik c Gehlot b Aslam 13
Extras: (B 8 LB 5 W 4) 17
Total: (all out in 86.2 overs) 280
Fall of wickets: 1-32 2-159 3-176 4-176 5-183 6-186 7-190 8-219 9-257
Bowling: S Mathur 18-1-79-3, S Gehlot 20-6-56-2, M Aslam 26.2-7-64-3, Shamsher 18-4-48-2, R Bishnoi 2-0-13-0, N Gehlot 2-0-7-0
Rajasthan (1st innings):
V Saxena not out 5
S Vijay not out 0
Total: (For no loss in one over) 5
Bowling: A Thakur 1-0-5-0