Steve Smith out for 30 on Sussex debut as captain Cheteshwar Pujara shines again

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steve smith His first was a brief but eventful cameo as LV = Insurance county championship The innings was capped by Sussex Captain Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliant century Worcestershire,

The focus was on Smith, whose three Division Two matches with Sussex ahead of this summer’s Ashes have raised eyebrows after the visitors lost two quick wickets on the second morning.

But just as he was finding some rhythm, Smith fell for 30 before Pujara demonstrated that he was the highly regarded Australian by scoring 136 in Sussex’s 373, leaving Worcestershire 34 for one. going to stump. – trailing by 75 on day three.

The pair, who take on Smith’s Australia and Pujara’s India in next month’s World Test Championship final, will be on the opposing side, in a partnership notable for umpire Chris Watts ordering both batsmen to wear neck protectors behind their helmets. Added 61 runs. and Peter Hartley.

Smith has previously described the stem guard – mandatory for all domestic cricketers in England but not Australia – as “claustrophobic” and “in an MRI scan machine” after being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer. Similar to “getting stuck”. Which caused an uproar in 2019.

Pujara then brought Smith to the crease at 63 for one in reply to Sussex’s 264 inside the first 10 minutes, as overnight batsmen Tom Alsop (13) and Ali Orr (34) were dismissed early.

Smith faced a dozen balls without scoring, either side of a five-minute delay while adjustments were made to his and Pujara’s helmets, but he duly took advantage of his 13th ball – cut short and wide off Ben Gibbon For four to get off the mark.

He seemed to be warming up to his job by clipping and then pulling Josh Tongue for leg-side fours, but when the Worcestershire pacer hurried him on, Smith was perhaps unlucky to miss the umpire’s finger well above the knee. left after While already on his toes.

It was a crucial wicket for Tongue, but he and the rest of the Worcestershire attack found Pujara difficult to dismiss. India’s Test number three played late but walked with confidence and was ruthless against short and wide deliveries, while also hitting a six off the tongue.

With Pujara reaching fifty for either side, James Coles departed for 14, after an effort from Gibbon brushed his inside edge, while Ollie Carter missed a drive and was bowled by Matthew White.

But Pujara found a willing ally in Fain Hudson-Prentice, the pair shining in the afternoon sun after a brief rain delay and taking on Worcestershire’s bowlers for 117 in 16.4 overs.

Pujara cut Brett D’Oliveira for his 14th boundary and although he went to tea on 97, soon after resumption he achieved a 138-ball ton, his third century this season and 12 for Sussex A surprising eighth in matches.

Waite had Hudson-Prentice lbw for 54, but Sussex having established a first-innings lead by this point, Ollie Robinson had license to tee off against an attacking attack, the England seamer Picking up Joe took seven wickets for 59 runs the day before. Leach for two sixes.

Going for a third, Robinson missed over long-on to make 33 off just 21 balls, while Pujara had another crucial scalp and edged through Gareth Roderick.

Sussex’s innings ended early, leaving Worcestershire to negotiate a few difficult overs.

Robinson picked up from where he left off on Thursday and drew an edge off Jake Libby, with Pujara caught at fifth slip but Ed Pollock and Azhar Ali to help save Worcestershire from further damage.