Champions League T20
Lions still in the hunt
Alviro Petersen and Richard Cameron (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - An unbeaten partnership of 133 between Alviro Petersen and Richard Cameron took the Highveld Lions to a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Guyana in their Airtel Champions League Twenty20 match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.
The victory, with 29 balls in hand, will have boosted the Lions’ net run rate, and has kept them in the hunt for a semi-final berth.
Guyana, however, have lost all three matches so far, and will return home after their final match against the South Australian Redbacks at the Wanderers on Tuesday.
The Lions started the match with the news that their most experienced batsman, Neil McKenzie, had been ruled out of action because of flu.
The home side won the toss and put the visitors in to bat. A career-best four for 24 by Ethan O’Reilly kept the islanders in check, and they could muster only 148 runs in their 20 overs.
O’Reilly took wickets in his first two overs, and then drove the nail in the Guyanan coffin when he took two off successive balls when he was brought back into the attack.
Guyanan captain Ramnaresh Sarwan made a brave effort with 21 off 16 balls, but he fell to the pace of Craig Alexander’s first delivery, caught at point by Jean Symes.
Top scorer for Guyana was Steven Jacobs, who made 34, and once he was gone, caught by Cameron off Aaron Phangiso, Guyana’s hopes of securing an unlikely win were all but over.
The Lions’ run chase started off sedately, and there were a few flutters when Jonathan Vandiar top-edged a delivery from Esuan Crandon and was caught by wicketkeeper Derwin Christian for eight in the third over for eight runs.
But Petersen and Cameron put their heads down and took the Lions home, with Petersen contributing 57 off 38 balls, while Cameron blasted his way to 78 off 42, smashing five fours and six sixes.
The Lions face the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday, in what could be a virtual quarter-final.