While Gautam Gambhir struggles, Piyush Chawla enjoys his County stint with a ton and three-for

The left-hander scored his century with a six off 140 balls, playing for Somerset against Middlesex on Day 2 of a Division One first-class match at Lord's. Piyush Chawla then took 3/8 as Middlesex were bundled out for 106 in their first innings.

Updated: August 30, 2013 10:10 IST
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Even as Gautam Gambhir failed to fire for his county Essex in four consecutive innings with scores of 31, 21, 2 and 0, another Indian present in England for honing his skills and utilising his time, Piyush Chawla, settled in much quicker for Somerset.

Playing against Middlesex, captained by current Australian Test opener Chris Rogers, Chawla scored a counter-attacking ton on Day 2 of a Division One first-class match at Lord's.

While the team collapsed from a comfortable 3-139 to a precarious 7-211, Chawla came at no.9 in attacking mode to add 107 for the eighth wicket with rookie batsman Alex Barrow, who scored 65 on Day 1. Somerset ended Day 1 on a respectful 332/8 with the Indian all-rounder batting on 58 off 75 balls, an innings that included 7 fours and 2 sixes.

Chawla then came out on Day 2 and continued in pretty much the same fashion to notch up his 4th first-class hundred. His ton came in 140 balls with a six off Ravi Patel, a left-arm orthodox bowler. Chawla added another 99 for the 9th wicket with well-known South African T20 specialist Alfonso Thomas, who scored 54 not-out.

The Indian was eventually dismissed by Patel for 112 as Somerset posted a daunting 449 in their first innings.

Somerset's hopes of Chawla carrying his confidence from batting into bowling too, on what is reportedly a wicket suitable for spinners, were answered.

His impressive start to the season did not stop as Chawla took 3/8 in 4.5 overs to help his side dismiss Middlesex for 106 in their first innings. Although all his wickets were of tailenders, most captains relish bowlers who can clean up the tail.

At close of play on Day 2, Middlesex were 52/2 in their second innings, still 291 runs behind Somerset's huge score.

Chawla had expressed his desire to excel in the County championship just before his latest English sojourn began.

"After my last spell in county cricket, I received an international call-up and I'm hoping the same happens this time around. I'm hoping that the volume of wickets and runs catches the eye of the selectors back home in India," Chawla told Pakpassion. "I think it's vital to grab this opportunity, perform consistently, and ensure that I make the selectors sit up and take notice of my performances."

His first match, a domestic ODI, though, was not as productive as the leg spinner would have liked. He scored 3 runs and took 1/43 in eight overs. Somerset though won the match by 12 runs.

"In the last game, I struggled big time," Chawla told telegraph.co.uk. "I had flown in the night before, at 11pm, but I am getting into the groove."

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