County Championship 2023: Skipper Cheteshwar Pujara's gritty knock puts Sussex on top against Gloucestershire
Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 99 takes Sussex to 302/4 versus Gloucestershire on day Two in the ongoing County Championship.
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There have been plenty of fine performances over the past few weeks in the ongoing County Championship- Division Two. Some batters showed their aggressive game to tackle the opposition while some maintained their composure to compile well-made innings. However, India's Test mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara has been in sublime touch with the bat, since the time he joined the Sussex County in a bid to prepare for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) Final.
The most incredible thing about Pujara has been the fact that from the time he donned the captaincy mantle after Sussex's regular skipper, Tom Haines got ruled out due to a hand fracture and expected to sit out for at least six weeks. He did not let his batting affect even one bit and has remained fluent. Pujara has already cracked a century to make a scintillating start to his stint with Sussex this year.
In the same vein, in the ongoing match against Gloucestershire, Pujara displayed his batting masterclass yet again on day two of a rain-marred match at Bristol. Currently, leading from the front, the Indian batter is unbeaten on 99 and will hope to get another memorable century when he resumes on day three. Notably, this will be Pujara's 58th ton in his First Class career if reaches the landmark. His innings meant that Sussex took their score from 47/1 to 302/4 at stumps on day two.
During his terrific knock, Pujara played some magnanimous straight drives which entertained the local crowd thoroughly. The Indian batter reached his half-century with a divine drive through the extra cover region against van Burren. The only time it almost seemed like the end of fabulous innings of Pujara was he ended up chopping his leg stump off Zafar Gohar. Thereafter, he scored two boundaries off him in the very next over with diligent cuts. Pujara concluded the day with one six and 13 fours in his 190-ball knock so far.
Pujara is currently at the helm of the run chart in Division Two of the County Championship
Now speaking of the overall performance of Cheteshwar Pujara in the ongoing County Championship, he has accumulated 280 runs from three appearances so far with a staggering average of 70.00 with one century and fifty each. This makes him the highest run-getter in the tournament for Sussex.
Meanwhile, in some other notable performances between Sussex and Gloucestershire, Tom Alsop played the supporting role to Pujara with 67 runs while James Cole reached his career-best best of 74. From the hosts, in the bowling unit, Zafar Gohar turned out to be the most successful bowler with 2/67.
It will be interesting to see how Cheteshwar Pujara will fare going into day Three and if he goes on to convert this knock into a marathon knock.