Cheteshwar Pujara was batting like a dream ever since he joined the Sussex side to play county cricket in England. The veteran batter has smashed yet another century against Middlesex at Lords in the ongoing battle of the County Championship Division Two game. Cheteshwar Pujara’s purple patch in county cricket has continued with his third double-century of the season.He was also appointed as the captain of the side in the absence of Tom Haines who was ruled out of the match due to injury.
On a green-top surface at Lord’s, Middlesex captain Tim Murtagh sent Sussex in to bat initially. Both openers were run out without making a substantial addition, and they were on 99/2 after 34.2 overs. Then came the Indian, who had a job to do: keep the innings going. Pujara, who is known for being cautious and patiently developing his innings, produced a good attacking innings with eleven fours and a six to put the tourists under command. So far, he has hit 19 boundaries and two sixes. Sussex are approaching the 500-run mark in the match thanks to his double-century.
Third-wicket partnership puts Sussex in command
Murtagh’s men came into the game during the morning session as the pitch delivered significant aid to the pace bowlers, as is customary on a regular Lord’s track. The home captain removed opener Ali Orr for 7 off 25 balls, then Tom Clark was bowled for 33 off 84 balls by Tom Helm. It was left-handed hitter Tom Alsop, who stepped in at number 3 and made a valiant 135 runs off 277 balls while being on the wicket for 365 minutes to help Sussex’s innings. Helm removed Alsop in the 93rd over, putting a stop to a 219-run third-wicket stand.
Pujara, took over the pace bowlers and portrayed aggressiveness from the opposite end, increasing the scoring pace. He ended the day with 115 runs on 182 balls, enabling his team to surpass 300. Archie Lenham went out in the same over for a three-ball duck immediately after Alsop was removed. Sussex concluded Day 1 with 328 for the cost of four wickets in 96 overs. Helm was the standout of the Middlesex bowlers, taking three wickets for 63 runs. Sussex continued to lose wickets after Alsop’s departure, but Puujara stayed in the middle converting his hundred into his third double century for Sussex.
Pujara, the first Indian player to secure a county contract for the current season, has 971* runs in 7* matches. The right-handed batsman arrived in the UK in April and scored 720 runs in eight innings at an average of 120.00. Pujara made his India debut for the one-off Test match against England after a fantastic run in county cricket.