Cheteshwar Pujara savoured another special innings at Lord’s as he helped skipper John Simpson re-write the Sussex record book.

Both men completed centuries to help take control of the Vitality County Championship clash with hosts Middlesex at Lord’s.

Simpson, who made ten centuries in 15 years with the Seaxes, got the second of his short tenure as Sussex skipper, eventually making 167.

Pujara posted 129 in a score of 554-9 that eclipsed the county’s previous best against the hosts of 550-9 at Hove in 1980.

The vastly experienced pair shared a stand of 223 for the fifth wicket to erase the previous best against Middlesex of 216 by Kepler Wessels and Colin Wells in that same match 34 years ago.


Middlesex for whom Ethan Bamber took 3-114, lost Mark Stoneman early in their reply, but Sam Robson, unbeaten on 40 and Max Holden saw them through to stumps at 62-1 without further alarm. They will require a further 343 on day three to avoid the follow-on.

Pujara said: “It means a lot to score a century at Lord’s. There is so much history behind this cricket ground and as a kid I always wanted to play cricket here.

"Talking about this particular innings, I had to work hard. It wasn’t an easy pitch where you can just start scoring runs freely, so I had to be patient and work my way through.

“At this stage I don’t know how many more games I’m going to play here, so you just want to make the most of what you have. This is my last game of the season for Sussex, so it’s good to finish with a ton and hopefully we’ll win this game.

“It will be hard work for our bowlers as well. If you look at the pitch it is slowing down a bit, but if we bowl in the right areas and stay patient there’s enough in it.”

On Simpson’s century back at Lord’s, Pujara added: “It means a lot for him.

“He has plenty of experience of playing at Lord’s but the last couple of games he hasn’t scored enough runs, so wanted to get a big one and this was the perfect opportunity.

“He has been working hard on his game. He is leading the team, there’s a lot going on and it is never easy leading the team if you are a wicketkeeper as he is on the field all the time, so when he has to come and bat it is never easy.”