Johannesburg: Ethan O`Reilly shone with the ball while skipper Alviro Petersen and Richard Cameron scored quickfire unbeaten half-centuries to guide Highveld Lions to a nine-wicket victory over Guyana in a Group B Champions League Twenty20 match here on Sunday.
After O`Reilly (4/27) helped Lions restrict the Caribbean side to 148 for nine, Petersen (57) and Cameron (78) shared a 75-ball 133-run second wicket unbeaten stand to help the South African side overwhelm the target with more than four overs to spare.
Steven Jacobs was the lone bright spot in Guyana`s batting chart with a 37-ball 34, while skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan (21) was the other notable run-getter.
Chasing a modest 149, Cameron returned to form in style with a quickfire 78 that came off just 42 deliveries, while Petersen also blossomed in the right-hander`s company to score a breezy 38-ball 57 to take Lions home at the New Wanderers stadium here.
Lions, however, started poorly, losing opener Jonathan Vandiar (8) in the third over, with scoreline reading 16 for one.
But that was the only time Guyana bowlers tasted success as both Petersen and Cameron mixed caution with aggression to help Lions cross the 50-run mark in 6.1 over.
Petersen, who showed signs of returning to form in their last outing, opened up and dispatched Eusan Crandon for a four and a six in the fifth over to accumulate 15 runs.
In the seventh over, Cameron also got his act together and dispatched Crandon for two fours and a six to bring up his team`s 50. He was merciless in his approach and hammered the Guyanese bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Cameron was particularly severe on Christopher Barnwell and Royston Crandon as he treated both the bowlers with disdain, dealing with them in fours and sixes.
Petersen hit Crandon for two consecutive fours in the 12th over to bring up Lions` 100.
In the 14th over, Cameroon clobbered two sixes off Devendra Bishoo to take his side closer to the victory target.
Petersen completed the proceedings with a four and a six off Lennox Cush in the 15th over.
Earlier, Lions` O`Reilly wreaked havoc with the ball to restrict Guyana to a modest total of 148 for nine.
Sent into bat, most of the Guyana batsmen found the going tough at the spongy Wanderers stadium as they lost wickets at regular intervals to surrender before disciplined Lions bowlers.
Steven Jacobs, captain Sarwan and Lennox Cush (19 n.o.) made some useful contributions to help Guyana reach a respectable total after the Caribbean side were reduced to 42 for three in the sixth over and 88 for six in the 14th over of their innings.
Struggling for runs, Guyana lost their opener Travis Dowlin (7) to pacer O`Reilly in the second over when the ball swung sharply into the batsman and hit him straight in front of the stumps.
Sarwan seemed determined to make the most out of the outing as he hit Robert Frylinck for back-to-back boundaries in the third over.
Sarwan showed glimpses of his ominous best, hitting O`Reilly for three fours in the next over to accumulate 13 runs.
He eventually fell to a blinder of a catch by Jean Symes off Craig Alexander at point. He hit four fours in his brief 16-ball stay.
Dowlin`s opening partner Sewnarine Chattergoon (4) stay at the crease was also a struggle and it finally ended when he tried to hit a low O`Reilly delivery towards mid-on only to find Richard Cameron lapping on it in the sixth over.
Jacobs and Christopher Barnwell (11) then tried to resurrect the innings with a 37-run fourth wicket partnership, but the latter perished in the 12th over in search of quick runs.
Guyanese were further dug into trouble when promising Jacobs departed in the 14th over, holding one out to Richard Cameron off Aaron Phangiso at long-off in search of a huge hit. Jacobs hit five fours in his patient 37-ball stay.
Esuan Crandon (3) too did not last long and fell prey to a mix up with Jonathan Foo, leaving the team tottering at 88 for six in 14 overs.
O`Reilly registered his third wicket of the day by rattling Royston Crandon`s timbers in his return spell.
Foo`s struggle at the middle finally came to an end when O`Reilly cleaned him up in the same over.
Frylinck also registered a wicket against his name, when Derwin Christian (11) tried to hit a low rising delivery over the top only to find Alviro Petersen at long-on.