Ball tampering row clouds day 3 of second test in St Lucia

Honours remained even at stumps on Saturday’s third day of the second test between the West Indies and Sri Lanka at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia. The Sri Lankans were 34-1 in their 2nd innings reply at the close, trailing by only 13 runs. Earlier, the start of play was delayed for two hours after the Sri Lankans refused to take the field after match officials had charged them with ball tampering, slapping on a five-run penalty, and changing the ball that had been used on the opening day.

When play eventually resumed, the West Indies were bowled out for 300 in their first innings reply after resuming on 123-2. Devon Smith top-scored with 61 from his overnight 53 while first test century maker Shane Dowrich made 55 and Roston Chase 41. Lahiru Kumara took 4-86 and Kasun Rajitha 3-49.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board says the team has continued their game against the West Indies under protest after they were found guilty of altering the condition of the ball during the ongoing second test against the Caribbean side at the Darren Sammy Stadium.

The Sri Lankans strongly denied any wrongdoing as their players protested the charge and the subsequent penalty of a ball change and the awarding of five extra runs to the opposition by refusing to take the field at the start of the third day's play. The match eventually resumed after a two-hour delay.

According to a report from espncricinfo, the umpires laid the charge after reviewing footage of the second day's play, and finding evidence pointing to the application of a substance to the ball. Officials privy to the case say the incident was similar to the one involving South Africa captain Faf du Plessis who was found guilty of altering the condition of the ball during the 2016-17 test series in Australia. This is the second time in two years that Sri Lanka have found themselves part of a controversy over the condition of the ball.

All-rounder Dasun Shanaka was charged for a similar offence by the ICC in November 2017 and in that case the team accepted the sanction.




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