Derby, April 17: India’s middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara posted an excellent unbeaten double century to help Sussex write a great escape and draw their County Championship Division Two match against Derbyshire on Sunday.
Pujara scored 201 in 387 deliveries, hitting 23 fours in his 467-minute strike and with starter and captain Tom Harris leading from the front with 243 (491 balls, 654 minutes, 4×22), Sussex posted 513/3 in his second innings at be asked to continue. The pair shared a position of 351 in 119 overs, a Sussex record for any wicket against Derbyshire.
Choosing to bat, Derbyshire had posted 505/8 declared, with a 239 from starter Shan Masood and 111 from Wayne Madsen. They then eliminated Susses for 174 in 56.3 overs in their opening innings with Sam Conners (3/47), Nick Polls (3/43) and Anuj Dal (2/28) shaking them down. Pujara was out for 6 runs.
Trailing by 331 runs, Sussex rode on double centuries from Pujara and Haines to reach 513/3, 180 runs to go when the match ended in a draw at County Ground, Derby.
Pujara, who has been struggling for form in the recent Tests playing for India, joined Sussex to get his form back. And he showed that things are getting back on track, as he scored a double hundred in his first game of the season.
The 34-year-old Saurashtra batsman hit Potts wide for his 14th four in the first change of the afternoon session to reach his century, his first in 27 months.
Although Derbyshire continued to rotate their bowlers, there was no sign of a breakthrough until Pujara at 130 drove a long swirling catch, where Billy Godleman was unable to hang on.
Pujara completed his 150 from 326 balls and the 300-run position was recorded at 108 overs before the pair left at teatime with Sussex 123 runs to go.
In the first over of the final session, the pair surpassed Sussex’s previous highest partnership against Derbyshire of 310, set by Ed Joyce and Luke Wells at Derby in 2016. Haines eventually went out for 243, but Pujara completed his double century.