Andrew Puttick’s 23rd first-class century held the Cape Cobras innings together and prevented an outright collapse, but the Knights still came out of the first day of their Sunfoil Series clash at the Diamond Oval with the bragging rights. Puttick’s 100 was easily the standout score in a Cobras total of 251/9, as the rest of the top six all made starts but failed to convert. While Omphile Ramela’s 15 was the lowest score among them, Stiaan Van Zyl’s 34 was the highest as the Knights bowlers never allowed the visiting side to settle after they had won the toss and elected to bat first.
With Van Zyl opening the batting, Puttick shuffled down to the less familiar position of number four. His experience there was desperately needed, with fellow senior players Justin Ontong and Justin Kemp not making it on to the park. After Van Zyl and Levi (23) had put on 50 for the first wicket, Shadley Van Schalkwyk (2/38) removed both openers in the space of two overs to bring Puttick to the crease.
The left-hander shared partnerships of 52 with Ramela, 51 with debutant Pieter Malan (18) and 49 with Sybrand Engelbrecht (25), with the Cobras trend of losing regular wickets showing just how valuable Puttick’s contribution was. He was finally removed when Duanne Olivier (2/60) used the second new ball to good effect, and the dismissal finally allowed the Knights to make swift progress. Malusi Siboto picked up the wickets of Dane Piedt and debutant Lesiba Ngoepe to end the day with superb figures of 3/38 from 20 overs, before Werner Coetsee (2/55) capped an excellent final hour for the Knights by removing Beuran Hendricks on the stroke of stumps.