Cobras bite second victim

– Puttick scores first century of tournament

HYDERABAD, India, CMC – Forgotten South African opener Andrew Puttick slammed an unbeaten century as Cape Cobras romped into the second round of the Twenty20 Champions League with a resounding 54-run win over Otago yesterday.

The left-handed opener, who played a single One-Day International for the Proteas four years ago, crashed 104 off 62 balls to guide his side up to 193 for four off their allotted 20 overs, after being sent in at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

In response, Otago failed to mount a serious challenge as they lost wickets steadily to stumble to 139 all out off 17.1 overs.

With a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore already under their belts, Cape Cobras were clinical in their display as they announced themselves as one of the favourites to take the inaugural title with their second straight victory.

Their start was less then perfect, however, as Herschelle Gibbs fell for one in the second over with the score on 10 and was followed by Henry Davids who perished for 12 to leave the Cobras 38 for two at the start of the sixth over.

Puttick then engineered his side’s recovery with a superb innings that also formed the basis of two crucial partnerships.

The 28-year-old, who cracked 12 fours and three sixes, carved out a 95-run, third wicket stand off just 62 balls with JP Duminy whose 32 required 25 balls and included two fours and two sixes.

When Duminy and Rory Kleinveldt (1) fell in the space of four balls with just six runs added to leave Cape Cobras on 139 for four in the 17th over, Puttick combined with Justin Ontong to spark a lower order run spree.

They put on a hasty 54 from 23 balls with Ontong stroking a fine, unbeaten 39 from 14 balls with two fours and four sixes, to end the innings on a high.

New Zealand batsmen Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redman then gave the Kiwi side a feisty start with an opening stand of 33 from 23 balls.

The dangerous McCullum struck 21 from 17 balls with three fours while Redman got 14 from 11 deliveries, but once both were dismissed within eight balls of each other the innings lost direction.

Nathan McCullum, Brendon’s older brother, hammered 38 from 21 balls with four fours and two sixes in a brisk lower order knock but Otago were left with too much to do.

Kleinveldt finished with three for 24 with his medium pace while Duminy’s spin earned him two for 10.

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