India’s Cheteshwar Pujara, in the form of his life, smashed his third century in the Royal London One-Day Cup against Middlesex at Hove, on August 23. While he has been a regular in India’s Test side, Pujara has not made much of a reputation as a One Day International (ODI) player, scoring only 51 runs in five matches at a meagre average of 10.20.
However, Pujara went ballistic during his team Sussex’s match against Middlesex, hitting 132 runs off only 90 balls laced with 20 fours and two sixes, with a strike rate of 146.66. Pujara’s superb form for his county side could once again open the doors to limited overs cricket for him.
Pujara has already amassed 614 runs in eight innings at an average of 102.33 that includes three centuries and two half-centuries during the Royal London One-Day Cup. His top knock is 174, which he scored against Surrey. Incidentally, it is also the highest score by a Sussex player in List A cricket.
Despite his consistent scores, Pujara remains the second highest run-scorer in the tournament. Stephen Sean Eskinazi of Middlesex has scored 658 runs in eight games.
The right-handed batsman had also performed well for Sussex in the longest format during the County Championship Division two. He scored 1,094 runs at an average of 109.40 in 13 innings across eight games in the championship with a top-score of 231. He further scored five hundred-plus knocks during the championship and is second in the batting charts.
Against Middlesex, Tom Alsop (189*) and Pujara (132) helped Sussex reach a whopping 400/4 in 50 overs. The two put up a 240-run stand for the third wicket. Max Harris was the pick of the bowlers for Middlesex with 3/56.
Chasing 401, Middlesex were bundled out for 243 with wicketkeeper-batter Joe Cracknell scoring 71 and Martin Andersson adding 30. Henry Crocombe (3/33) and Delray Rawlins (3/61) ensured Sussex won the game by 157 runs.