Twitter Reactions: Sri Lanka Legends clinch a thriller despite Nathan Reardon's heroics

Twitter Reactions: Sri Lanka Legends clinch a thriller despite Nathan Reardon’s heroics

Nathan Reardon's 96 off 53 deliveries nearly helped the Aussies pull off an improbable comeback.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Romesh Kaluwitharana
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Romesh Kaluwitharana. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a slightly one-sided game on the opening day of the Road Safety World Series, we witnessed dramatics of the highest order as Sri Lanka clinched a thrilling win over the Aussies. It seemed like the game was done and dusted when the men in yellow lost seven before the 11th over during their chase, but an outstanding knock from Nathan Reardon saw the legends from both sides showcase a stunning encounter.

Sri Lanka raced off to a brilliant start, with Tillakaratne Dishan and Romesh Kaluwitharana taking the attack to Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty. Dilshan reminisced the good old days, trying to play the paddles, scoops and the reverse-sweeps. Funnily, it was the reverse-sweep which brought an end to a quickfire 34-run opening stand.

Marvan Atapattu too got off to a promising start, but the legendary Lankan batsman clearly looked unsettled against the spinners, which eventually led to his dismissal. Chamara Kapugedara and Romesh Kaluwitharana carried the innings forward with a bit of caution but kept lashing at the often-occurring short deliveries from the spinners.

Having scored over 90 runs in the first 10 overs, they had the stage set for a good finish. But just the way it happened in the first game, the middle-order batsmen failed to hit the gaps regularly. Jason Krejza and Brad Hodge picked up two wickets each in a span of five overs, which put the Lankan Lions on the backfoot.

Farveez Maharoof chipped in with a 15-ball 20, which helped the side get past the 160-mark. They managed 161 runs in their 20 overs, for the loss of 8 wickets. Xavier Doherty, Jason Krejza and Brad Hodge picked up two wickets each for the Aussies.

Reardon saves grace after a horrendous start

The Lankans looked fired up with the ball, with Chaminda Vaas turning back the clock. It was a quintessential Vaas dismissal to send Michael Klinger back for a duck – pitched in length, moved slightly away from the right-hander and the edge neatly carried to the first slip. Tillakaratne Dilshan then picked up two wickets in the next over, which reduced the Aussies to 10/3 in 2 0vers.

Skipper Brad Haddin and Brad Hodge had some trouble in the middle, but they somehow managed to survive a few overs. But that’s all they could do as Herath dismissed Haddin and Lee, whilst Maharoof got the big fish in Hodge. Reardon took it all on himself to take the side over the line and displayed some outrageous strokeplay. He got to a half-century in no time and stitched 38 runs in no time with Clint McKay, who scored just 8 runs.

Then followed a 57-run partnership for the 9th wicket, which seemed to have brought Australia right back in the mix. With the pressure creeping up and 17 runs to get in the final over, Dilshan took the ball himself to deliver the final laugh. He conceded a couple of boundaries in the first three deliveries, but Dilshan trumped in the end as Reardon chipped it straight into the hands of deep mid-wicket.

Xavier Doherty fell the very next delivery as Sri Lanka delivered a brilliant 7-run win. Only three Australian players out of 11 registered double digit scores – Reardon (96), Doherty (15) and Haddin (10). Skipper Dilshan picked up three wickets with the ball and was named player of the match.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: