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Haines and Cheteshwar shine for Sussex

Tom Haines and Cheteshwar Pujara scored double centuries to complete a remarkable escape act that guided Sussex to a draw on the final day of their County Championship match at Derbyshire.

The pair shared a stand of 351 in 119 overs, a Sussex record for any wicket against Derbyshire.

Haines batted for just short of 11 hours for 243, while Pujara was unbeaten on 201 from 387 balls as Sussex closed on 515 for three, 180 runs ahead after following on 331 behind.

The pair looked certain to bat through the day, but Haines chipped Nick Potts to midwicket shortly before the close and was congratulated by all of the Derbyshire players before he walked off.

Derbyshire’s hopes of seeing a flurry of wickets rested with the second new ball, which was only 16 overs old, and for the first hour Haines and Pujara had to fight hard to survive.

Sam Conners beat the bat several times, while Suranga Lakmal delivered his best spell of the match from the City end.

The Sri Lankan paceman had a fascinating duel with Pujara, who almost lost his wicket on 64 when a fine leg glance bounced just in front of Brooke Guest diving across to his left.

Only 36 runs came in just over an hour, but Haines pulled the off-spin of Wayne Madsen to the ropes to wipe out the arrears before Pujara cut Potts to the boundary to bring up the 200 stand in 71 overs.

Haines was given a reprieve on 194 when he edged a cut at Alex Thomson, but Madsen at slip could not hold on to a sharp head-high chance.

He made the most of the left-off by completing the first double century of his career by driving the last ball of the morning from Thomson to the cover boundary for his 20th four.

It was a remarkable display of concentration and intent from the 23-year-old and he and Pujara moved serenely on after lunch.

Pujara clipped Potts wide of mid on for his 14th four in the first over of the afternoon session to reach his century, his first in 27 months.

Derbyshire kept rotating their bowlers, but there was no sign of a breakthrough until Pujara on 130 drove a swirling catch to long on, where Billy Godleman failed to cling on.

Haines was given a third life in the next over when he cut Leus du Plooy hard to slip, but Madsen again failed to take a sharp chance.

Pujara completed his 150 from 326 balls and the 300 stand was posted in 108 overs before the pair walked off at tea with Sussex 123 runs ahead.

In the first over of the final session the pair passed Sussex’s previous highest partnership against Derbyshire of 310, set by Ed Joyce and Luke Wells at Derby in 2016.

Derbyshire’s chances of victory had long gone when Haines’s marathon finally ended, but Pujara completed his double hundred on a day to remember for Sussex.

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