Smith falls cheaply as Pujara shines for Sussex

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Steve Smith's slow start to life in England's County Championship continued at Leicester, where he was dismissed for three runs by South African seamer Wiaan Mulder.

Australia's star batsman, who made a low-key 30 on his Sussex debut at Worcester last week, was back in the pavilion having scored just three off 14 balls before being trapped lbw by Mulder.

Smith, who is halfway through a three-match spell  with the Division Two side, had spent Thursday ensconced in the dressing room as Leicestershire's ground staff tried in vain to make a saturated outfield fit for play.

However, despite his failure, Sussex still enjoyed a good second day as they made 4 for 319 after being sent into bat.

Tom Alsop (118 not out), Cheteshwar Pujara (77) and James Coles (59no) led the way on a cold day in generally tough batting conditions.

Pujara dealt largely in boundaries, 11 of them in his first 50, as he continued his stunning form for Sussex ahead of India's World Test Championship final clash with Smith's Australia.

Pujara's departure, caught behind the stumps, ushered in Smith, but he looked twitchy from the start, surviving a confident appeal for leg before by the eager Tom Scriven from his second ball faced as he offered no shot.

It appeared only height could have saved him. There was no such doubt three overs later though, when Smith shuffled into a ball from Mulder that came back in a little and would certainly have hit the stumps.

Sussex were well placed on 4 for 208 at tea, but Smith walked off to a sense of anti-climax.

In the final session, which would have lasted a marathon 39 overs had bad light not curtailed play 13 overs before the scheduled close, Alsop completed a 212-ball century.

Also in Division Two, Aussie allrounder Michael Neser put together a well-made 86 – the only score over 50 in the match – for Glamorgan against Worcestershire in Cardiff.

With reports that Neser has been called up for the Ashes preparation squad, it was a timely reminder of his all-round abilities.

In the Worcestershire first innings, Neser grabbed four wickets for 40 runs.

The 33-year-old was wicketless when Worcester batted for a second time, reaching 7 for 195, but Glamorgan are in a commanding position and trail by just 46 runs.