Andrew Puttick had been a key member of the Cape Cobras' Pro20 title-winning campaign this year and was gutted to find himself left out of their original squad for the Champions League Twenty20. It was little more than a week ago that he was recalled and put in charge of the side, after original captain Graeme Smith pulled out due to injury.
Things got even better for Puttick on Saturday, when he blasted a 62-ball 104 to crush Otago and led Cobras into the second stage of the tournament. "I took quite a knock not making the original squad in my belief that I could play this game," Puttick said. "To come back and score a hundred in a winning performance means a hell of a lot to me.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet but it's a really special night for myself. Just to get a hundred in any form of the game, let alone Twenty20 cricket, is special for me and in such a big event it means a lot."
It was a thoroughly dominant performance from Cobras, whose bowling and fielding also improved from the nervy show against Royal Challengers Bangalore in front of a partisan capacity crowd on Thursday. "I am happy with the way the boys bowled," Puttick said. "The boys were outstanding tonight; our fielding improved from the shaky effort the other night."
Losing captain Craig Cumming said someone from his side needed to have come up with a big knock like Puttick if Otago were to chase down the stiff 194. Four of our guys got in, but the difference was one of their guys got a hundred," he said. "If we can get a big score in the next game, we're certainly going to be competitive."
For Otago to have an extended stint on the big stage, they need to beat Bangalore on Monday. "The next one will be a good one for us to win because then we carry on. Obviously Bangalore at home won't be easy, but we're still backing ourselves," he said. "We're more than happy for people to write us off."