Nathan Reardon led an incredible turnaround for Australia Legends as they recovered from the depths of 59/7 but ultimately fell short of the target of 162 by seven runs against Sri Lanka Legends in Match 2 of the ongoing Road Safety World Series in Mumbai.
Reardon scored a fighting 96 off 53 as he singlehandedly kept the Australian chase alive after their batting crumbled to the guile of Sri Lankan captain Tillakarante Dilshan (3/35) and Rangana Herath (2/5) to be bowled out for 154 in 19.5 overs.
With 17 runs needed and two wickets remaining in the final over, Dilshan took the challenge.
Reardon got back to back boundaries before he hoicked Dilshan to mid-wicket which landed in the hands of Sachithra Senanyke, ending all hopes of what would have been an improbable Australia win.
Sri Lanka opted to bat first at the Wankhede Stadium to post a competitive 161/8.
Several of their batsmen got the starts but failed to convert. Dilshan combined with Romesh Kaluwitharana, who returned to cricket after 16 years, adding 34 runs for the opening wicket.
Dilshan was the first to fall after hitting 18 off 34 while Kaluwitharana scored 30 ff 26 before falling in the 11th over.
Chamara Kapugedera struck three fours and a six in his 18-ball 28 even as Australia continued to chip away.
Farveez Maharoof injected late runs with an unbeaten 20 off 15.
Australia’s chase began on a disastrous note as they lost opener Michael Klinger in the very first over and by seven overs, they had lost six wickets.
Reardon belted nine fours and five sixes to pull Australia back into the contest but Sri Lanka held on to start the tournament with a thrilling win.