Away from the preparations for the Asia Cup tournament and the selection headaches surrounding it for the Indian team, veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara continued his scintillating form in the ongoing Royal London One-Day Cup as he scored his third century in five games for Sussex. With the century, the Sussex skipper went past former India captain Virat Kohli and Pakistan captain Babar Azam in an elusive list to stand second in world cricket.
Pujara showed his big-hitting prowess yet again in the ongoing tournament as he bludgeoned a 75-ball century en route to his knock of 132 runs in 90 balls, laced with 20 boundaries and two sixes. The knock, together with opener Tom Alsop’s unbeaten 189 helped Sussex post a total of 400 for 4 in 50 overs against Middlesex in Hove in their Group A tie.
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With the massive knock, Pujara has gone past both Kohli and Babar to record the second-highest batting average in List A cricket with minimum of 100 innings. Pujara’s present average of 57.48 in 109 innings in his career stand sonly behind Australia batting great Michael Bevan (57.86 in 385 innings). Babar stands second with an average of 56.56 in 153 innings followed by Kohli, 56.60 in 286 innings.
The knock also helped Pujara complete a tally of 614 runs in eight innings for Sussex in the tournament that comprises of three centuries. His knocks read – 9 (16), 63 (71), 14* (7), 107 (79), 174 (131), 49* (68), 66 (66), 132 (90). He is now only the second batter to go past the 500-run mark this season.
Pujara’s impressive run in the Royal London One-Day Cup was preceded by a sensationl red-ball stint for the club in the County Championship Division Two where he notched up a magnificent tally of 1094 runs in 13 innings at an average of 109.40. The tally included three double-hundreds among a total of five centuries.
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