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At Somerset, Pujara Tonne leads Sussex to victory

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By four wickets, Sussex (319 for 6) defeated Somerset (318 for 6) (Umeed 119, Campher 101) (Pujara 117*, Alsop 60).

At the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton, Cheteshwar Pujara’s signature century led Sussex Sharks to a four-wicket Metro Bank One Day Cup triumph over Somerset.

As his team chased down a target of 319 with 11 balls remaining, the Indian run-machine struck an unbeaten 117 from 113 balls. Oli Carter made a quick 44 and Tom Alsop contributed 60.

After winning the toss, Andy Umeed (119) and Curtis Campher (101) both scored their first Somerset hundreds, helping his team to 318 for 6, with Fynn Hudson-Prentice taking 3 for 50.

The Sharks easily ran it down to secure their first victory in the competition at the fourth try, but it appeared to be no more than a par total in the warm weather on a flat batting ground.

Sean Hunt and Hudson delivered excellent opening spells.Prentice held Somerset to 36 for 1 after 10 overs, with Umeed frequently playing and missing and George Thomas being caught behind for 5.

After driving at a full-length ball from Hudson-Prentice and seeing wicketkeeper Carter catch George Bartlett, Somerset was 80 for three in the 20th over after James Rew, who was on 22, lofted a catch to long-off to give off-spinner Jack Carson his first wicket.

After a rocky start, Umeed recovered and set out to improve his career-best List. a score of 77, achieved in the team’s prior contest with Northamptonshire. The opener hit a four off Henry Crocombe across midwicket to reach fifty off just 68 balls.

As the pair increased the tempo, Campher welcomed the arrival of leg-spinner Archie Lenham by hitting his first delivery for six over mid-wicket on his way to a 45-ball half-century. Umeed did the same off the same bowler.

Umeed moved to his first List with a series of well timed strokes. 115 balls and a hundred, with 9 fours and 2 sixes.

When Umeed received an inside edge off Hudson-Prentice onto his stumps after a 163-run partnership with Campher, the score was 243 for 4.

Before being caught at long-on off Carson, Campher had scored his century off 79 balls with nine fours and three sixes. Skipper Sean Dickson’s quick 40 at the conclusion of the innings assured his side would post a respectable total.

James (JT) Langridge, a 17-year-old left-arm seamer making his debut for Somerset, was given the new ball. The young bowler did not dissapoint, taking a wicket in his second over when Tom Haines cut a catch to deep backward square.

When Tom Clark edged a draw shot off of Jack Brooks to wicketkeeper Rew, the score was 47 for 2. However, Alsop was already established at that point, and it seems certain that Pujara would thrive in the late-afternoon sun.

As it turned out, there was hardly a false shot as the pair scored 92 runs in 15 overs. Alsop reached his half-century in 49 balls before nicking a pitch from medium-pacer George Thomas, which led to Rew taking an outstanding catch close to the stumps.

The Indian maestro quietly picked gaps in the field to keep the Sharks up with the required run rate as he followed Alsop to fifty, also off 49 balls. However, the Sharks lost a fourth wicket when Josh Thomas, George’s younger brother, bowled James Coles for 21 runs while pushing him forward.

At 202 for five in the 34th over, Hudson-Prentice appeared to be unlucky to be declared lbw while attempting a reverse sweep on Josh Thomas. Sharks’ hopes therefore lay with Pujara.

Carter provided a late surge, hitting four fours and two sixes, including one incredible tennis shot that cleared the long-off ropes, and serving as the perfect counterpunch to Pujara, who easily advanced to his 16th List appearance. 105 balls and a century; hardly seeming to take a chance.

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