Jayawardene hits out at officials
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has revealed his side will write formally to the ICC match referee, Javagal Srinath, to seek consistency in weather regulations.PT1M20S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2d1of 620 349 January 21, 2013
SRI Lanka will complain to the match referee after Sunday night's farcical finish to the fourth one-dayer in Sydney that denied Mahela Jayawardene's team a golden opportunity to wrap up a rare series victory against Australia.
The Sri Lankans were left bemused at a world-class venue such as the SCG not being able to handle 90 minutes of steady drizzle that forced match officials to abandon play due to the state of the outfield.
''It's disappointing because at the SCG I would assume that a ground of this magnitude you should be able to get a game in. Maybe they should do what we do back home - cover the entire ground,'' Jayawardene said.
Umpire Marais Erasmus walks towards the pavilion after suspending play due to the rain. Photo: Getty Images
''I think we can probably write to the match referee [Javagal Srinath] because obviously the interpretation we got three months ago in the New Zealand series was different. It was deemed that we'd only stop play if it was dangerous.''
Curator Tom Parker said the water did not sink far enough into the ground due to the rain being too light, while the lack of wind delayed the drying process.
Of most concern to the umpires was the effect on the ball and the need for it to be replaced after every over.
Australia v Sri Lanka, SCG - Game 4
David Warner cuts at the ball early in the Australian innings. Photo: Brendan Esposito
''We played New Zealand three months ago and the interpretation that we got in that series was quite different to what we got today. We've played in Pallekele [in Sri Lanka] with a lot of rain and during the ICC World Cup as well,'' Jayawardene said.
''I think you need to find a bit more consistency, and that's something that we'll probably write and put it across to them.''
Australian captain Michael Clarke said his team wanted to get back on the field despite the delay enhancing Sri Lanka's chances of winning. ''I think this ground is known for its drainage. I've played a number of games here where it's held a lot more water than that and we've managed to get back on and play games of cricket,'' he said.
''Sri Lanka definitely would have loved to have gotten back on there. As the game got shorter, with 10 wickets in hand, it was probably going to suit them a lot more. But we certainly wanted to play as well to give ourselves a chance at winning the series.''
The controversial decision was good fortune for Australia as the Sri Lankans were set to benefit from any revision of the target through the Duckworth-Lewis system after the rain delay.
A win by Sri Lanka would have given its an unassailable 3-1 lead heading into the final match of the series in Hobart on Wednesday. Instead, Clarke's side now has the chance to square the series 2-2.
The bizarre conclusion to the game is more bad publicity for the 50-over format and will not have been well received by host broadcaster Channel Nine, which for the second time in three nights had hopes of a bumper night of ratings dashed.
The crowd of 22,521, many of whom revelled in the rain delay by building a beer snake the width of the Trumper Stand, jeered raucously as they left the venue after being told of the umpires' verdict.
The anti-climax capped a forgettable day for match officials, with umpiring howlers costing David Warner and Moises Henriques their wickets.
Each batsman was given out lbw by umpires Marais Erasmus and Paul Reiffel, respectively, despite having clearly hit the ball onto their pads.
They could not turn to the third umpire for a reprieve as captain Clarke had already wasted Australia's only video referral in an ambitious attempt to overturn an earlier lbw decision.
Replays showed the ball zeroing in on the top of Clarke's middle stump.
''I think if you or your partner feels like there is a fair bit of doubt in the decision, then have a crack at referring it,'' Clarke said.
''I got it wrong today. If I don't refer mine, then Davey can use it, and gets given not out, and Moises can use it and gets given not out as well.''
D WARNER lbw b T Perera 60
P HUGHES c Chandimal b Kulasekara 1
M CLARKE lbw b Kulasekara 20
D HUSSEY c Thirimanne b Malinga 1
G BAILEY c T Perera b Herath 22
M WADE c Kulasekara b T Perera 31
M HENRIQUES lbw b Herath 3
M JOHNSON lbw b Malinga 10
M STARC not out 52
C McKAY b Kulasekara 2
X DOHERTY not out 10
Sundries (1b, 7lb, 2w) 10
Total (9 wkts - 50 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 4 (Hughes), 50 (Clarke), 53 (Hussey), 93 (Bailey), 125 (Warner), 130 (Henriques), 145 (Johnson), 166 (Wade), 182 (McKay)
Bowling: A Mathews 10-1-50-0, N Kulasekara 10-2-30-3 (1w), L Malinga 10-2-33-2 (1w), T Perera 10-0-64-2, R Herath 10-0-37-2>
M JAYAWARDENE not out 4
T DILSHAN not out 9
Sundries (1w) 1
Total (no loss - 3.2 overs) 14
Bowling: C McKay 2-0-13-0 (1w), M Starc 1.2-0-1-0
Result: Match abandoned