Puttick puts Cobras on top in Potch
The first day of the 2012/13 Sunfoil Series belonged to Andrew Puttick. Surely unlucky never to win a test cap, Puttick dominated the day with an unbeaten 166 and has put his team into a commanding position over the bizhub Highveld Lions as the Nashua Cape Cobras ended the day on 322 for the loss of two wickets in Potchefstroom.
The Cobras were always in command after Rory Kleinveldt won the toss and made first use of an excellent batting strip.
The Highveld Lions' inexperienced new-ball attack could not make an early breakthrough and the openers were still at the crease by the lunch break. Alistair Gray was first to go in the 56th over, playing a loose shot against Pumelela Matshikwe, but the only other wicket to fall on the day was Yaseen Vallie, who edged into the slips.
Puttick sailed on blissfully, despite leading a charmed life. He was dropped twice by Alviro Petersen, on 61 and 106, and on one occasion edged three balls out of four. Nevertheless, he put the Highveld Lions' bowlers to the sword in the final session as he added 71 to his score at tea, completing his 17th First Class century in the process. By stumps he had struck 28 fours and a six off the 282 balls he faced.
There was not much cheer for the Lions bowlers. Matshikwe took the first wicket and kept a reasonable economy rate, although Puttick did give him some tap with the second new ball.
Hardus Viljoen was also miserly at first, but as the day drew towards a close Puttick took four boundaries off five deliveries to dent the fast bowler's figures. Imran Tahir, another new recruit for the Lions, took the other wicket but was troubled by a plethora of no-balls.
The bonus point tally summed up the day's play, with the Cobras already having achieved 4.44 for batting. The Lions still have four overs available to earn bowling bonus points, but as yet have none.
BIZHUB HIGHVELD LIONS: Alviro Petersen (capt), Stephen Cook, Zander de Bruyn, Neil McKenzie, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Thami Tsolekile, Chris Morris, Hardus Viljoen, Pumelela Matshikwe, Imran Tahir.
NASHUA MOBILE CAPE COBRAS: Andrew Puttick, Alisatair Gray, Stiaan van Zyl, Yaseen Vallie, Justin Kemp, Qaasim Adams, Dane Vilas, Rory Kleinveldt (capt), Johann Louw, Dane Piedt, Bueren Hendricks.