Sri Lanka ended their lengthy tour of Australia on Sunday night with an ugly win, and a sweep of the two game Twenty20 series, as players fought a war of words on the field after the visitors secured their victory on the final ball of the day.
The drama began as Australia's chase of Sri Lanka’s total of 4-161 neared its end. Members of the Sri Lanka side huddled around bowler Thisara Perera prior to the final ball causing a delay that infuriated on strike batsman Glenn Maxwell who could be seen yelling across the crease at Perera.
Needing a four off the final ball, Maxwell couldn’t connect with the final delivery and as he ran down the crease to salvage some runs, Perera jumped in his face and taunted the batsman. It led to some fiery scenes as players got in each other’s faces before the final handshake, where some of the Aussies held up the line visibly arguing with Mahela Jayawardene.
Despite the calamity, the 39,247 fans in attendance actually got a good match. The Australians needed 18 runs from their final over and managed 14 from the first five bowls. Rain also caused a 45-minute delay earlier on and the Aussies resumed their attack needing 122 runs from 15 overs.
Captain George Bailey hit 45 and Shaun Marsh produced an unbeaten 47 while Jayawardene hit an unbeaten 61 from 45 deliveries. The Aussies got off to a great start with the ball after Bailey collected a tough catch to drop Sri Lanka to 3-39, but Jayawardene and Jeevan Mendis combined for a fourth wicket total of 63 to get the visitors back on track.
Finally, Shane Warne has again found himself in the headlines after launching an attack on Cricket Australia, specifically CA's high-performance chief Pat Howard, a former member of the Wallaby’s Test side.
Warne, a friend of Australian Test captain Michael Clarke, apparently isn’t a fan of having non-cricket identities involved in the sport’s administrative body.
“I think CA really need to look at the people who are making decisions on all facets of cricket in Australia, we r (sic) seriously becoming a joke!” said Warne over Twitter.
“Absolute rubbish re selections,rotations,resting & farcical decisions on matches, joke.. Dudding the public & to many excuses.. Wake up CA.
“Can CA please put current cricket people in charge to run the game,select teams, not ex rugby or any other sports people plse, seriously
“We have the best batsmen / captain in the world in MClarke23 (Michael Clarke) – He needs current cricket people to help him out not muppets”
Warne can probably expect another fine to be on the way. He received a one-match ban and a $9500 fine for discipline breaches during the recently completed Big Bash League.
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Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.