The Indian Test specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara finally managed to end his 52-innings century drought in First-Class cricket with a sensational and record-breaking unbeaten knock of 201 for Sussex on Sunday in the County Championship match against Derbyshire. And with the big knock that helped his team churn out a difficult draw, Pujara scripted a massive Indian record and broke a staggering Asian record as well.
Cheteshwar Pujara became only the second Indian after Mohammad Azharuddin to score a double century in the County Championship. The former India skipper, who had achieved the feat twice, had played a flamboyant knock of 212 against Leicestershire in 1991 and 205 against Durham in 1994 and both his knocks were for Derbyshire. Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi had four such scores under his belt, but came while he was cricketer for the English team.
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This was Pujara’s first century in First-Class cricket after a gap of 52 innings. His last century came against Karnataka in January 2020 when he had played another dominating knock of 248. In between the two big scores, Pujara managed 1518 runs at 30.36 with 14 fifties.
This was also 14th double hundred of Cheteshwar Pujara in first-class cricket, which took him past Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara for the most First-Class double tons by an Asian. Overall, eight other batters have scored more double centuries in the red-ball format than Pujara, but none of the batters are playing currently. He also surpassed Sangakkara for the most double centuries in First Class cricket in the 21st century.
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And last but not the least, the unbeaten 201 of Cheteshwar Pujara is now the highest score by a batter on a first-class debut for Sussex, breaking the previous record held by Joe Gatting against Cambridge UCCE in 2009. He had played knock of 152 in his Sussex debut.
“Enjoyed my debut game for @sussexccc. Glad that I could contribute to the team’s cause. Looking forward to the next game,” Pujara said on the KOO app after the big knock.