Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Sri Lanka delay play in West Indies Test amid ball-tampering row

Devon Smith scored his first Test fifty after three years out of the West Indies Test side Devon Smith scored his first Test fifty after three years out of the West Indies Test side
Jennie Wade | 17 June, 2018, 20:13

Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal has been charged by the ICC after a ball-tampering row overshadowed the third day of his team's second Test against the West Indies.

Dinesh Chandimal was charged for breaching Level 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct.

Following concerns raised by umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould about the condition of the ball nearing the end of the second day, the Sri Lankans were advised before the start of play on Saturday that they could not continue with the existing ball.

Play eventually got under way around 11:30 a.m. after Sri Lanka team management consulted with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), and the visitors took the field and continued the match "under protest".

Match referee Javagal Srinath and the Sri Lankan support staff were seen having an animated discussion before the start of the third day's play.

That decision did not bode well with the Sri Lanka players and management, who protested the decision, and players remained off the field for almost the first hour.

The officials had also, in keeping with the rules, awarded West Indies five extra runs.

"The team management has informed us that Sri Lankan players have not engaged in any wrongdoing", the release said.

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As the West Indies players were waiting on the ground, the Sri Lankan team didn't turn up even as both umpires were waiting.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the umpires had laid their charge after reviewing footage of the second day's play, and finding evidence pointing to the application of a substance to the ball.

It was communication with the team's board in Colombo which finally persuaded Chandimal and his men to continue with the match.

Opening batsman Devon Smith anchored the innings with a painstaking 61 but it was the fifth-wicket pair of Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich whose stand of 78 runs wrested the initiative from the Sri Lankans.

At the close of play on Day 2, Windies were 118 for 2 in reply to the opposition's first-innings score of 253.

Bancroft was subsequently whacked with a nine-month ban from worldwide and first-class cricket by Cricket Australia.

Second time around the tourists lost Kusal Perera for 20 en route to 34 for one - a deficit of 13.

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