Cheteshwar Pujara scores ton in first game as Sussex captain

Cheteshwar Pujara scored a century in his first game as Sussex captain against Middlesex on Tuesday. This was his fifth century in this county season. His good form continues from the Edgbaston Test between India and England where in the 2nd innings he had scored a half century.

Tom Alsop, who scored 135, ably supported the Indian who was batting 115 not out at the close of the day’s play. The Sussex pair accrued a third-wicket partnership of 219 before Tom Helm, who finished with three for 63, struck late on by dismissing Alsop and nightwatchman Archie Lenham in the space of four balls.

Pujara had begun his stint with Sussex with a double hundred against Derbyshire and followed it up with a hundred against Worcestershire and a double hundred against Durham. In May, he hit an unbeaten 170 against Middlesex which helped him get a callup to the Indian Test team after he was dropped for the home series against Sri Lanka.

Earlier, Middlesex skipper Tim Murtagh gambled on a greenish surface providing early assistance to the seamers but that never materialised as his side toiled away in sweltering conditions with little success.

Pujara came to bat at No.4 and following a measured start, Sussex’s stand-in captain switched to attacking mode, advancing down the wicket to punch Luke Hollman to the midwicket boundary.

Having reached his half-century, Pujara brought up the 100 partnership by slamming Malan into the grandstand for the first six of the game as Sussex continued piling up runs without offering their tiring hosts a sniff of a chance.

Alsop was the first to three figures – his third ton of the campaign and second in as many games – before his partner followed suit, pushing Murtagh for a single immediately after the new ball had been taken.

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