Cheteshwar Pujara stars in Sussex Sharks’ big win

Sussex had captain Cheteshwar Pujara to thank as they clinched their third Royal London Cup win. writes Sarthak Sharma.

The Sharks beat Surrey by 216 carries at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove.

Pujara posted the highest score for the Sharks with 174 as the home side ended their innings with a gargantuan 378-6 after losing the toss and being told to bat first.

Surrey was subsequently bowled for a paltry 162 in under 32 overs.

Sussex lost both opening games within the power play overs with just nine runs on the board, but Surrey failed to capitalize on their early momentum, allowing Pujara and Tom Clark to control the innings.

The duo put on a show for Sussex fans, smashing the ball en route to a record-breaking partnership of 205 runs across the park.

This is now the highest partnership for a wicket for Sussex v Surrey in a one-day format and set the tone for what was to come next.

Clark’s sending off for a solid 104 did little to derail Pujara’s momentum as the Indian ripped apart Surrey’s attack, scoring his second straight century and adding to his run tally with ease.

The skipper eventually departed for 174, his highest personal score in the tournament, after mistimed a delivery from Conor McKerr and being caught by Ben Geddes.

Pujara received a standing ovation for his incredible batting performance and was congratulated by the entire Surrey squad as he left the pitch with his job all but done.

Minor contributions from Tom Alsop (22), Delray Rawlins (15) and Danial Ibrahim (15*) propelled the Sharks to a mighty 378-6, the highest total Hove has ever recorded in the one-day format.

When Pujara played with the racquet, it was Aristides Karvelas turn to do the same with the ball.

The South African-born speedster was deadly with the new ball, picking up the first four Surrey wickets.

Karvelas overturned Ben Geddes early on and picked up wickets from Nico Reifer, Josh Blake and debutant Sheridon Gumbs to falter the away side 55-4.

Ryan Patel and Tom Lawes briefly stabilized the ship, but when Patel was cleverly caught by Rawlins before bowling by Henry Crocombe for 65, the tide clearly turned in the hosts’ favour.

Rawlins himself picked up a couple of wickets to further dampen the mood in Surrey, sacking McKerr, Nathan Barnwell and Matt Dunn, and even an undefeated First County Fifty for Tom Lawes proved futile as the visitors collapsed to 162.

The Sharks’ win will give them some much-needed impetus ahead of a very busy week as they play Durham at the Emirates Riverside Stadium on Wednesday before traveling to Taunton on Friday to face Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground. Cheteshwar Pujara stars in Sussex Sharks’ big win

Fry Electronics Team

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