Career-best efforts from Ethan O'Reilly and Richard Cameron boosted the Lions' hopes of a Champions League Twenty20 semi-final after a nine-wicket win over Guyana at the Wanderers. O'Reilly, a pace bowler, took four for 27 and was supported by Aaron Phangiso (one for 15) in restricting Guyana to 148 for nine. Cameron, batting at No 3, then smashed 78 and shared in an unbroken 133-run partnership with Alviro Petersen (57) to guide the Lions home with 29 balls to spare.
The West Indian side have been poor so far, losing both their previous games, and again looked out of their depth with only Ramnaresh Sarwan (21) and Steven Jacobs (34) making meaningful contributions. They were dealt an early blow with O'Reilly trapping Travis Dowlin (seven) leg before wicket with his first ball. Sarwan came in and tried to take the attack to the Lions with four boundaries in his 16-ball stay, before succumbing to Craig Alexander's first delivery - the bowler, though, having Jean Symes to thank for an outstanding diving catch at point. The struggling Sewnarine Chattergoon (four) was next to go, but the West Indians still managed to reach 70 for three at the halfway stage.
Sloppy running between the wickets accounted for Christopher Barnwell (11) and Esuan Crandon (three) with the lower order managing to set an ordinary target of 149. Guyana needed early wickets if they were to pose any challenge and Crandon provided one when he had Jonathan Vandiar (eight) caught behind. But Petersen and Cameron eased their way in, both hitting 35-ball half-centuries before cutting loose towards the end as the Lions cruised home.
Petersen was delighted after having a good day. "It's always nice to contribute to the team success. As a whole it is a team performance, and we are happy to be the best side on the field today. Obviously after the 10th over, we knew we could push the run-rate up a bit. "Richard Cameron batted beautifully, I was just hanging in there," he said. "If we have the support we had today, I have no doubt we can go all the way."
Sarwan blamed the batting for the loss. "Not enough runs. Thought we got off to a good start, but couldn't maintain the momentum," he said. Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan bowled a tight last over to hand Mumbai Indians a narrow two-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore - chasing 166 for victory - at Kingsmead, Durban late last night. But the Indians were still knocked out of the competition. Zaheer, India's premier fast bowler, came into bowl the last over with Rahul Dravid (71 not out) and Virat Kohli (47) well set to steer their side home. Kohli even hit a boundary off the fourth ball of Zaheer's over, but the young India batsman was caught behind by Amabati Rayudu off the left-armer.