Ethan O'Reilly ripped through Guyana's batting as the Highveld Lions crushed the West Indian team by nine wickets in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
Opening bowler O'Reilly took 4/27 as Guyana struggled to 148/9 in their 20 overs. The Lions raced to victory with 4.5 overs to spare as captain Alviro Petersen (57 not out) and pinch-hitter Richard Cameron (78 not out) put on an unbeaten 133 for the second wicket.
It kept the Lions in contention for a place in the semifinals. A win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final Group B match at the Wanderers on Tuesday will clinch it for the South African side.
O'Reilly dismissed opening batsmen Travis Dowlin and Sewnarine Chattergoon in an opening spell of 2/22. He came back later to bowl Jonathan Foo and Royston Crandon with fast, full deliveries.
The key wicket of the day, though, belonged to fast bowler Craig Alexander, who had Guyana captain and star batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan superbly caught at backward point by a leaping Jean Symes. Sarwan had looked in ominous form as he made 21 off 16 balls.
"The guys play for each other," Petersen said of his team's success.
He praised Cameron's powerful hitting for enabling the Lions to improve their net run rate, which could be a factor in they lose to Bangalore.
"After the tenth over we knew we could push the run rate up. Richard played beautifully."
Cameron's runs were scored off 41 balls with six sixes and five fours.
It was another disappointing result for Guyana, who have lost all three of their matches. "We need to work harder on our game," said Sarwan.