Puttick in sublime form

Alvin Reeves

OPENER Andrew Puttick stroked his 20th first-class century as the Cape Cobras assumed control of their Sunfoil Series cricket fixture against the Chevrolet Warriors at Axxess St George’s yesterday.

Taking advantage of a sharp grassed chance in the gully early on in the morning session, Puttick knuckled down to score an unbeaten 159 and help carry his team to a position of strength at 324 for three wickets by the close.

There have been 25 fours in his innings and his stay at the crease has lasted 325 balls so far.

He was involved in two vital partnerships, one of 79 with fellow opener Omphile Ramela and then a third-wicket stand of 167 with captain Justin Ontong, who cracked 87.

The opening stand with Ramela was a vital one in building the foundation for the afternoon and evening sessions.

But the partnership with Ontong stamped the visitors’ authority on the first day of this four-day match and the Warriors will need to be up to the challenge when they get their chance to bat today.

Puttick and Yaseen Vallie (18) will resume the Cobras’ innings.

The Warriors suffered a scare in the opening session when star batsman Colin Ingram tore a calf muscle and had to be helped from the field by his teammates.

He underwent a scan which revealed a slight tear.

Ingram, though, was adamant that he would bat today with the calf strapped.

At the Diamond oval in Kimberley yesterday, Johan van der Wath and Quinton Friend took three wickets apiece as the Knights became the first team to tame the Highveld Lions batting lineup in the Sunfoil Series this season.

The Lions had racked up large totals in their first two matches of the campaign, but found the going rather more difficult against an accurate Knights attack on a testing pitch as they were bowled out for 204. Friend was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 22 from 21 overs.

Hardus Viljoen struck in his first and second overs to reduce the Knights to eight for two in reply, before the home side recovered to go to stumps on 56 for two, trailing by 148 runs. – Additional reporting by Michael Owen-Smith

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