The fourth day’s play of the final Test was marred by heated exchanges between India’s number 11 batsman Ishant Sharma and Sri Lanka paceman Dhammika Prasad, forcing play to be halted for a few minutes.
The incident happened in the 76th and final over of the Indian second innings, which was being bowled by Prasad.
Prasad bowled a couple of bouncers which Ishant left alone and had a smile for the Lankan pacer. A bit agitated, Prasad bowled a third bouncer which was illegal and promptly signalled no-ball by the umpire.
Having exhausted his quota of two bouncers for the over, Prasad pitched one up and Ishant cut it towards point region for a single. But as he ran past Prasad, he tapped his helmet as if to say ‘hit me’.
This triggered a war of words and Dinesh Chandimal brushed past Ishant to further raise tempers. R Ashwin tried to calm down Ishant and the umpires spoke to both sets of players and the host skipper Angelo Mathews.
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After Prasad removed Ashwin off the eighth ball of his over, Ishant ran in --- likely to get ready to come into bowl --- with Prasad running after him. TV pictures showed the players exchanging angry words as they split and went into their respective dressing rooms.
Sri Lankan bowler Dhammika Prasad and Ishant Sharma exchange words on day four of the third test cricket match in Colombo. (AP Photo)
Although the umpires spoke to Kohli before the Sri Lanka innings began, Ishant, after removing opening batsman Upul Tharanga in his first over, ran up to him and yelled before being pulled away by his skipper with Ajinkya Rahane talking to the paceman.
The series has so far been fought in a cordial atmosphere, but Ishant was pulled up for giving send-offs after dismissing Lahiru Thirimanne and Chandimal in the second Test. He was fined 65% of his match fee.
On Monday, Ishant was involved in an argument with Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath. Ishant termed his argument with Perera as friendly banter.
(with agency inputs)
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