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County Championship 2024: Cheteshwar Pujara’s sublime hundred puts Sussex in boxseat against Middlesex

County Championship 2024: Cheteshwar Pujara's sublime hundred puts Sussex in boxseat against Middlesex

Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Few cricketers exhibit the dedication and resolve of Cheteshwar Pujara, particularly in the purest format of the game. In a day and age where most modern day cricketers choose the white-ball format, especially T20s, due to various parameters, be it money, fame, or recognition by selectors to get a quick pass into the national setup, Pujara remains the elusive few who prioritized the red-ball format, especially county cricket, in what is his seventh stint being a part of England’s domestic premier red-ball competition.

In today’s cricketing landscape, where most players prefer the white-ball format, especially T20s, for various reasons such as financial gain, fame, and swift selection into the national team, the 36-year-old remains one of the rare cricketers who prioritize the red-ball format. This includes his notable seventh stint in England’s top-tier domestic red-ball competition.

Also Read: ‘Red-ball cricket is my true passion’ – Siddharth Kaul opens up after his impressive County Championship debut

Following modest performances against Glamorgan and Yorkshire where he managed only 91 runs across four innings, Pujara staged a remarkable comeback by scoring a splendid century on Day 2 of Sussex’s County Championship Division Two match against Middlesex at Lord’s. This century marked his 65th in the First-Class arena.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s classic century puts Sussex in command against Middlesex

Despite a brisk start by Sussex following Middlesex’s decision to bowl first, they stumbled, reaching 92/3 by the 28th over. Pujara, batting at No. 4, faced a no-ball on his first delivery. Exhibiting his characteristic patience, Cheteshwar Pujara took his time to settle in and struck his first boundary on the 33rd delivery he faced, advancing his score from 7 to 11 after a span of 14 deliveries. The 42nd over of Sussex’s batting witnessed Pujara skillfully dispatching two successive boundaries off right-arm fast medium bowler, Ethan Bamber.

Also Read: Watch: Ricardo Vasconcelos gets dismissed in unusual way in County Championship fixture, video goes viral

Pujara brought up his half-century via a single off Ryan Higgins. After striking a boundary off Henry Brookes, the seasoned campaigner finally entered the 90s. At the conclusion of Day 1, Pujara remained undefeated on 91 runs off 210 balls, leaving observers to wonder if he could weather the tense moments ahead. With the start of Day 2, Pujara required 29 deliveries to find his footing.

Notably, his initial three runs of the day brought him to the brink of the milestone, requiring just one boundary to achieve it. The much-awaited moment arrived when Cheteshwar Pujara elegantly stroked his 12th boundary of the innings, completing a magnificent century in 256 deliveries. Thereafter, he continued to bat a little longer and finished his marathon knock (129 off 302 balls) with 15 boundaries.

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