Puttick scores century as Cobras qualify for Super Eight
Skipper Andrew Puttick (104) hit first century of the inaugural Champions League as Cape Cobras handed a 54-run mauling to Otago Volts to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the event in Hyderabad, reports Deepti Patwardhan.SPECIAL COVERAGEindia Updated: Oct 11, 2009 00:58 IST
Most of the Hyderabadis stayed away from the Uppal stadium on Saturday evening. But for the few hundreds who came, there was a smashing display with the bat by Cape Cobras, with captain Andrew Puttick leading from the front.
Puttick, who did not feature in the Cobras original squad, was thrust into skipper Graeme Smith's shoes just days before the start of the Champions League.
After the initial setback, when he fell for 11 in the opening game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the left-hander more than made up as he steered his team into the league stage of the tournament.
Starting off with two boundaries in the first over, Puttick carried on ruthlessly to score an unbeaten 104 off 62 deliveries. The result: Otago Volts were set an imposing target of 194, one which they never came close to chasing. In reply, Otago were bowled out for 139 in 17.1 overs
Losing star opener Herschelle Gibbs for one, Puttick ambushed the Volts bowlers almost single-handedly, slamming 12 fours and three sixes. He was later helped on with vital contributions from JP Duminy (32 off 25, 2x4, 2x6) and Justin Ontong (39 off 14, 2x4, 4x6).
Volts run out of power
Even as the floodlights were blinking to life, one by one, the chances for the only Kiwi team were being snuffed out. If the target in itself wasn't big enough, the players made it seem invincible with some mindless hitting, and running.
They lost three of their top-five, including Brendon McCullum to run-outs. The others looked like they hadn't had enough fun in the nets, and carried out in the same carefree vein in the middle. After a bright opening stand of 33 in 3.5 overs, the Volts lost their spark.
"It shows that T20 doesn't mean just going wham bam," said Otago captain Craig Cumming. "You can get big scores even while playing proper cricketing shots. They did that, and deserved to win today."
The South African team has now won both its group matches, which means the final Group C match between Otago and RCB will decide who goes through to the next stage.