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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

SRI LANKA will complain to the match referee after Sunday night's farcical finish to the fourth ODI in Sydney denied Mahela Jayawardene's team a golden opportunity to wrap up a rare series victory against Australia.

The Sri Lankans were left bemused how a world-class venue such as the SCG could not handle 90 minutes of steady drizzle which 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.

David Warner cuts at the ball early in the Australian innings. Click for more photos

Australia v Sri Lanka, SCG - Game 4

David Warner cuts at the ball early in the Australian innings. Photo: Brendan Esposito

''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.''

Match officials were worried about the state of the outfield which was deemed too wet for play after some 90 minutes of light drizzle. Tom Parker said the water did not sink far enough into 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 damage the water would have on the ball and the need for it to be replaced after every over.

''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 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.

''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,'' Clarke sad.

''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, who were made clear favourites by bookmakers during the rain interruption, would have seen them take an unassailable 3-1 lead into the final match of the series in Hobart on Wednesday. Instead, Clarke's side now have 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 received well by host broadcaster Channel Nine, who for the second time in three nights had their 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 off a forgettable day for match officials, who were earlier reeling after a pair of umpiring howlers which cost David Warner and Moises Henriques their wicket. Warner and Henriques were fired out lbw by two umpires despite both players having clearly hit the ball onto their pad. The pair, however, could not turn to the third umpire as Clarke had already wasted Australia's the only referral in an attempt to overturn an earlier lbw decision.