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    Sussex takes control at Derbyshire with Cheteshwar Pujara's hundred
Sussex takes control at Derbyshire with Cheteshwar Pujara's hundred
Cheteshwar Pujara scored yet another Sussex hundred. Source: Getty Images

Sussex takes control at Derbyshire with Cheteshwar Pujara's hundred

A century from Cheteshwar Pujara led a dominant Sussex batting display on the second day of their Vitality County Championship Division Two clash with Derbyshire at Derby.

The Indian maestro scored an unbeaten 104 - his ninth hundred in three seasons with Sussex - and Tom Haines, Tom Alsop, and James Coles all made half-centuries as the visitors closed on 357 for 5, a lead of 111. Sussex's position would have been even better had Luis Reece not taken two late wickets to keep Derbyshire in the game.

The home side had earlier posted 246 in their first innings thanks to a career-best 47 from Blair Tickner, who shared a ninth-wicket stand of 68 with Jack Morley before Coles' left-arm spin finished the innings with 2 for 6.

The cloud cover of the first day gave way to patches of blue sky, making the batting more comfortable and Tickner and Morley took advantage.

Tickner pulled an Ollie Robinson no-ball to the ropes and the pace bowler was further frustrated when Tom Clark dropped a difficult low chance at second slip with Morley on 6.

The pair completed a 75-ball 50 and Tickner was within sight of a first-class half-century when he made room to force Coles and was bowled by a quicker ball.

Morley had been playing a supporting role, defending well, but with Tickner out, he became more expansive and came down the pitch to drive Jack Carson over long-on for six. Derbyshire was approaching a score when Morley again used his feet to try and drive Coles through the off side, but missed the ball and was stumped.

Though their total was higher than it looked when they fell for 163 for the eighth wicket, early wickets were needed to put pressure on Sussex and Daryn Dupavillon obliged in his second over. The South African fast bowler moved one back from outside off to bowl Clark, but the bowling was too inconsistent and Haines pounced on anything that was slightly off.

He reached his 50, which came off just 38 balls, in the first over after lunch and the stand with Alsop was worth 90 as he played to cut a ball that was too close for him to hit.

The sight of Pujara coming out to bat on a ground where he scored a double century two years ago was ominous from a Derbyshire point of view and he soon worked the ball around with quiet assurance.

Alsop reached his 50 with successive fours off Reece, but two overs before tea he tried to drive Anuj Dal through midwicket and was lbw.

Sussex were 50 for the loss at the interval and, with Coles batting positively from the outset, they began to take control of the match in the evening session. Coles hit Morley over long-on for six before Pujara reached 50 from 74 balls, the same number Coles needed to complete his when he pulled Zak Chappell to the fine-leg boundary.

The partnership was worth 141 when Coles drove Reece low to mid-off and, after Pujara hit David Lloyd over the cover boundary for his 10th four to complete a century from 158 balls, Reece bowled John Simpson with a straight one.

Derbyshire made use of the new ball before the close, but Pujara and Carson stood firm to ensure that it was a day for the visitors.

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